Braised Chicken with Onions, Rosemary and Sage

Cook, Mains, Recipes, Weeknight Dinner

Chicken, onions and herbs braised with wine make a warming meal for a cold evening. Serve the chicken over polenta or rice, or set out some crusty bread to absorb the flavorful juices. Sauteed greens make a colorful accompaniment.


Braised Chicken with Onions, Rosemary and Sage


3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg.) large chicken breast halves and thighs, breasts cut in half crosswise

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 large onions, 1 finely chopped and 1 cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm.) pieces

2 oz. (60 g.) pancetta, chopped

2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary

1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh sage

3 small bay leaves

4 whole cloves

1 1/2 Tbs. tomato paste

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) dry white wine

2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) low-sodium chicken broth


Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels, and sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. In a heavy large, deep drying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook until brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate.


Pour off the fat from the frying pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the chopped onion, onion pieces, pancetta, rosemary, sage, bay leaves and cloves. Saute until the onions begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring up the browned bits.


Return the chicken to the frying pan with any juices accumulated on the plate. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken breast pieces are cooked through, frequently spooning the cooking liquid over, and turning, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken breast pieces to a plate. Continue cooking the thighs until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Return the breasts to the frying pan and simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve right away. Serves 4.

22 comments about “Braised Chicken with Onions, Rosemary and Sage

  1. Diane Balch

    Haven’t put rosemary and sage together in a chicken dish, but both are classic seasoning. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  2. Braised Chicken with Onions, Rosemary and Sage | Modern Day Moms | The Essential Guide for Modern Parents

    1. Maria

      Which white wine would be good here, or should I use a white wine that is intended just for cooking?

      1. Elizabeth in Charlotte

        Always use the best wine you can afford; if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it and heavens, please don’t use the “cooking wine” found in grocery stores. I keep small mini bottles of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc on hand for the times I need small quantities of wine in a recipe.

        1. Elizabeth in Charlotte

          If you prefer to buy a bottle, a mid (priced) range of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio is perfect!

  3. T Winter

    For the 4 cloves, is that cloves or a misprint that should be cloves of garlic?

  4. Roxanne Gary

    What would you recommend as a great white wine to cook with? I need your help.

    1. Elizabeth in Charlotte

      If you aren’t a big wine drinker, you can purchase the small mini bottles of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc on hand for the times you need small quantities of wine in a recipe. If you prefer to buy a bottle, a mid (priced) range of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio is perfect!

  5. Clarissa D.

    I have made this several times and its a great hit in my house. I only use 8 pieces of bone-in chicken thighs (organic by Bell and Evans). The cloves is not “cloves of garlic” but actual cloves – aromatic dried flower buds. The look like something you would make chai tea with – it smells woodsy and wonderful. Those 4 cloves make the dish.

    1. Cass Glass

      Some dry white wines are: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscadet, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris.

    1. Williams-Sonoma

      Hi Linda, yes, you can make this dish ahead — just let the chicken cool in the cooking liquid, cover and refrigerate overnight. Then reheat before serving. Enjoy!

  6. Karen

    Being it’s a rainy November day/night, we decided this dish would be a perfect fall dinner – and it was! It was easy to prepare, didn’t take a lot of time and was delicious. I fused all chicken thighs and found the liquid needed thickening at the end, but other than that, didn’t need to adapt the recipe. A keeper!

  7. Mike

    Made the dish tonight and it was excellent! The sage is potent so be careful and keep to the recommendation. Well done.

  8. Elizabeth in Charlotte

    I have been very excited to make this dish for the past week when I first saw it come across The Williams-Sonoma Facebook page. Honestly, I’m quite surprised by all of the rave reviews. I followed the recipe exactly and found this just ok. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t amazing either. I doubt I’ll make it again. This is the second recipe on Williams-Sonoma in the past two weeks that I’ve made and sadly, the second that was not a keeper for us.

  9. Molly

    If making for people who do not eat red meat, what would you recommend as a substitute for the pancetta? Also, tips for doubling?

  10. Carol Reeves

    Awesome! Simple to prepare. I added in mushroom when adding in the onions. We really enjoyed this dish and the aromas in the house…mmm


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