This delicious braised chicken breast with white wine, sweet caramelized shallots and aromatic sage is perfect for busy nights when you have little time (and maybe less energy) to prepare a fussy or elaborate meal, but want a wholesome dinner that feels special. 

An overhead photo of braised chicken breasts in a skillet.
Photo Credits: Ali Redmond

I like to think of chicken as a blank canvas: A lean protein that, when paired with the right ingredients, transforms into something extraordinary. In this dish, inspired by chicken stifado from Northern Greece, braised chicken breast is cooked in white wine until juicy and flavorful.

The traditional recipe has many variations and often includes other vegetables as well as a whole chicken. But in my family, everyone loves this quick and simple version of the dish. Layers of jammy caramelized shallots and sage add a great wow-factor! And it goes well with just about any side dish: like rice pilaf, orzo pasta, roasted vegetables or your favorite cooked grains.

Comforting and nutritious, this simple recipe has a short list of ingredients. And, most importantly, it's ready in well under an hour!

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients and Substitutions 
  2. How to Make Braised Chicken Breast
    1. Get Ready
    2. Sear, Then Braise the Chicken
  3. Tips for the Best White Wine Chicken
    1. Tips for pounding the chicken
    2. For browning
    3. For braising
  4. What to Serve with Braised Chicken Breasts 
  5. Storage and Getting Ahead
  6. More Chicken Breast Recipes
  7. Braised Chicken Breast with Caramelized Shallots and Sage Recipe
Ingredients for braised chicken breast including chicken breasts, shallots, pepper, oregano, flour, olive oil, butter, garlic, sage, tomato paste, bay leaves, white wine, chicken stock and a lemon.

Ingredients and Substitutions 

As is the case with most weeknight Greek recipes, the list of ingredients for this white wine chicken is not too long and consists mostly of pantry ingredients. Many of those are interchangeable and can easily be substituted with what you have on hand:

  • Chicken: I use lean chicken breasts, but you can use boneless chicken thighs or even chicken cutlets. 
  • Shallots and garlic: The shallots can be replaced with sweet onions; the garlic is an essential flavor booster and you can easily increase the quantity if you like. 
  • Olive oil: I use good quality extra virgin olive oil for sautéing the chicken, the shallots, and the garlic. Learn more in our guide: Cooking With Olive Oil: Everything You Need To Know! and find our favorite Mediterranean olive oils at our shop
  • Butter: Just a tiny amount of butter enriches the flavor of the dish. You may, however, substitute the butter with more olive oil, if you would rather avoid dairy.
  • Flour: A small amount is necessary to coat the chicken to ensure a nice sear. It also helps thicken the pan sauce.
  • Seasonings and aromatics: In addition to salt and pepper, dried Greek oregano, dried bay leaves, and fresh sage are great flavor enhancers for this simple dish. If you do not have sage, you can substitute it with fresh thyme.
  • Tomato paste: This contributes great depth of flavor.
  • White wine: Adds a complex acidity undertone, but can be substituted with more chicken stock. 
  • Chicken stock: Use either homemade, a good quality store bought, or bouillon diluted in warm water. 
  • Lemon: Adds nice, bright flavor to lighten the dish.
An overhead photo of braised chicken breasts on a serving platter with a serving fork.

How to Make Braised Chicken Breast

Once you have all the ingredients, prepped, measured, and ready to go, this dish can be ready in just about 30 minutes. Thin chicken breasts cook quickly, which is key for this recipe. 

Get Ready

  • Prep your aromatics: Slice 2 large shallots. Mince 2 large garlic cloves. Mince enough sage leaves to get 2 tablespoons. 
  • Prepare the chicken: Pound 1 ½ pounds of chicken breasts lightly to achieve an even thickness (please see note below). Your butcher can also do this for you if you ask. Pat them very dry. 
  • Season the chicken: Spread ¼ cup flour in a rimmed plate or shallow bowl. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano, then dredge the pieces in the flour, turning to coat. A chicken breast coated in flour on a plate.
  • Heat the stock: Add 1 cup of chicken stock to a saucepan and set over medium-low heat. 

Sear, Then Braise the Chicken

  • Brown the chicken: Place a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter melts and the mixture simmers, add the flour-coated chicken then cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook for 4 minutes or so more. You might need to do this in stages to fit all the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan, place it on a large plate, and cover it with some foil to keep warm. 4 chicken breasts being braised in a skillet.
  • Cook the shallots and garlic: To the same skillet, add the sliced shallots and cook until tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and the sage and cook for another minute or so. Next, add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and stir to combine. 
  • Make the sauce: Turn the heat to high and bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until it has reduced and thickened. Add the hot chicken stock to the pan.The sauce for the braised chicken breasts in a skillet.
  • Braise: Add the chicken back to the pan and partially cover the skillet with a lid. Braise the chicken, turning it a couple of times to coat it in the sauce, until it’s cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.An overhead photo of braised chicken breasts in a skillet.
  • Finish and serve: Once the sauce is reduced slightly, add the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and stir well to combine. Plate the chicken and spoon some of the lovely shallot sauce over it.A close up of braised chicken breasts in a skillet with a spoon.

Tips for the Best White Wine Chicken

This is an easy braised chicken breast recipe, but a few simple techniques will bring it to the next level.

Tips for pounding the chicken

Thin chicken pieces will ensure they cook quickly and evenly without drying out. 

  • Small chicken breasts (about 5-6 oz. each): trim them and place them between two pieces of plastic wrap (or, a ziptop bag) and pound them to an even thickness (about ¼-inch).
  • Large chicken breasts (about 8-9 oz. each): butterfly each one horizontally into two halves, by carefully slicing them from the thicker end to the thinner. 
  • Chicken thigh: pound lightly so they are about the same thickness throughout.

For browning

Searing the chicken concentrates its flavor, and makes for a better texture.

  • Take your time and sear the chicken on both sides until lightly brown.
  • While it cooks on one side, do not disturb it by lifting it to see if it is done.
  • When it is ready, it should release from the pan naturally when gently shaken. 
  • If the chicken does not fit in one pan, cook it in batches.

For braising

This recipe works just fine with just a lid, but if you want to make your chicken extra juicy, try making a “hat” for the pan with parchment paper. Here’s how: 

  • Cut a large piece of parchment and trim it to fit the inside of your pan or skillet.
    Cut a small vent in the middle of the paper to allow some steam to escape. 
  • Press the paper lid directly onto the surface of the chicken. 
  • Place the lid on the pan, propping it up on one side so it’s only loosely covered. 
A close up photo of a braised chicken breast on a plate with a fork and knife.

What to Serve with Braised Chicken Breasts 

This is such a versatile recipe that’s so easy to prepare. Anything where you can spoon some of the lovely sauce over top is particularly welcome! Try rice pilaf, a simple baked orzo dish, seasonal roasted vegetables or Briam: Traditional Greek Roasted Vegetables or Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Or, for a healthy side dish you can put together in just about 10 minutes, serve with Sautéed Asparagus.

An overhead photo of braised chicken breasts on a serving platter with a serving fork.

Storage and Getting Ahead

This recipe serves 4 people. Even when you're cooking for only two people, I recommend making the whole recipe (the leftovers are incredible). If you are cooking for 4, you might want to consider doubling it and saving it for another day later in the week or to share with a friend or your favorite neighbor. You will be happy you did. 

  • Reheating: Place the portions you want in a skillet, cover it, and simmer until heated through, adding some warm chicken stock if necessary.
  • Freezing: This chicken dish freezes very well. Place your leftovers in a freezer bag or a freezer safe container and freeze for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently in a skillet, covered, adding a little more liquid (stock or water) if necessary. 

More Chicken Breast Recipes

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5 from 8 votes

Braised Chicken Breast with Caramelized Shallots and Sage

Marilena Leavitt
An overhead photo of braised chicken breasts in a skillet.
This easy braised chicken breast recipe is loaded with flavor and comfort thanks to jammy caramelized onions and aromatic sage. And it goes well with just about anything, from roasted vegetables to rice, orzo, and couscous, just to name a few.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 35 minutes
Total – 45 minutes
Cuisine:
Greek/Mediterranean
Serves – 4
Course:
Entree/Poultry

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock, heated
  • Juice of half a lemon

Instructions
 

  • Make the cutlets: Pat the chicken dry and slice each breast in half horizontally – you should end up with 4 thin breasts. Place each breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to a ¼-inch thickness using a meat tenderizer. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt, black pepper, and dried oregano.
  • Dredge the chicken: Add the flour to a wide, shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour on both sides. Shake off any excess flour and transfer to a plate.
  • Pan fry the chicken: Set a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Once the butter has melted, but before it browns, place the flour-coated chicken into the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or so more. Remove the chicken to a clean plate and cover with some foil to keep warm. At this point the chicken should have some nice color, but it will not be completely cooked.
  • Make the pan sauce: Add the shallots to the pan and sauté until tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally, making sure to scrape up any bits left in the bottom of the pan from the chicken. (You may have to add a little more olive oil if the pan seems too dry.) Next add the garlic and the sage and cook for another minute or so. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine to deglaze the pan. Turn the heat to high and bring the sauce to a vigorous simmer. Continue cooking until most of the wine has evaporated and the sauce has reduced and thickened a little.
  • Finish cooking the chicken: Add the chicken to the pan along with any juices that might have collected on the plate. Pour the heated chicken stock over the chicken and add the bay leaves (the idea behind warming the stock is that, when added to the pan, it will not stop the simmering of the other liquids). Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan partially with a lid, and braise the chicken for about 20 to 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken), turning it a couple of times to coat it in the sauce. If necessary, add some more warm chicken stock to the pan.
  • Finish the sauce and serve: Once the sauce has reduced slightly, remove the lid and add the lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon of butter, and stir well to combine. Uncover and remove from heat. Let rest for 5 minutes. Place the chicken on a plate and spoon over some of the lovely shallot sage sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve at once.

Notes

  • To reheat: Place the portions you want in a skillet, cover it, and simmer until heated through, adding some warm chicken stock if necessary.
  • To freeze: This chicken dish freezes very well. Place your leftovers in a freezer bag or a freezer safe container and freeze for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat gently in a skillet, covered, adding a little more liquid (stock or water) if necessary. 

Nutrition

Calories: 349.1kcalCarbohydrates: 14.3gProtein: 39.5gFat: 9.2gSaturated Fat: 1.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.3gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 111.5mgSodium: 327.9mgPotassium: 861.2mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 3.4gVitamin A: 138.4IUVitamin C: 4.5mgCalcium: 62.4mgIron: 2.1mg
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5 from 8 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Comments

  1. Lisa MacDonald says:

    I am cutting out wheat products. Is there anything I could substitute for flour?
    Thanks!
    Lisa

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Lisa. We haven't tested this, but cornstarch may work here. If you give it a try, please come back and share your thoughts! We'd love to know how well it worked.

  2. Lisa says:

    Will a gluten free flour such as King Arthur work as a gluten-free substitution for regular flour?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yes, Lisa. That should work just fine. Enjoy!

  3. Linda says:

    I ordered the books and am looking forward to trying the recipes.

  4. Carol says:

    5 stars
    My new favorite chicken dish. It’s truly delicious. Can’t wait to have it again.

  5. Lynn says:

    5 stars
    This is really delicious! I made a serving for one. Next time, I will keep the heat at a lower temperature than the recipe calls for. The shallots and garlic were cooking too fast. I used more chicken stock than the recipe called for, but when I checked under the lid after a while, everything was dried up. I quickly added quite a bit more chicken stock, stirred it in and only had to cook for about 15 minutes. Since everything had dried up, the sauce came out very dark, but it was still absolutely wonderful. Can't wait to make it again!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your process here, Lynn! Appreciate it!

  6. Andy says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious. "An instant winner", said our 17 year-old son.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! Love it! Thanks, Andy!

  7. Dan says:

    5 stars
    Really good. Like chicken crack. I served this with Lemon rice (leftover) and a Lemon Parma Salad, all from this site. Everything was perfect together and I ate too much. Send naps.

    I will definitely repeat this one!

  8. Andrew says:

    Delicious. The real key is that the recipes are presented in such a way that there are no surprises. Very clear and easy to follow.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks, Andrew!

  9. Suzanne says:

    5 stars
    This dish was terrific. I paired it with a simple Italian salad and rice with olive oil and parsley. It’s a keeper. Great flavor and chicken was tender
    Can’t wait to try the chicken and artichokes

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much, Suzanne!

  10. Brittney says:

    5 stars
    Definitely a keeper! Wonderful sauce

  11. danielle says:

    5 stars
    enjoy the meal!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Great to hear! Thanks, Danielle!