Chicken Thighs with Cipollini Onions, Prosciutto and Lemon

This recipe for chicken thighs with cipollini onions really came about because I'm a big fan of braised chicken and also a lover of chicken marsala.

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So, I combined the two recipes mentioned above, searing the chicken thighs first, adding beautiful little cipollini onions (which you can buy fresh and peel laboriously OR buy a bag of frozen onions), deglazing with a good amount of dry marsala wine and adding stock for the braising liquid. Tearing prosciutto on top not only gives you little bursts of saltiness, but also a crispy texture that keeps your interest. Finally, a squeeze of lemon juice at the end gives it a little bright finish that makes this a dish you’ll keep coming back to.

Overhead shot of braised chicken thighs with cipollini onions in a light green cast iron pan.

If you want to practice your braising technique with a very different outcome, try the Chicken Fricassée which is another braise that uses white wine, mushroom stock and heavy cream as the braising liquid.

Chicken Thighs with Cipollini Onions, Prosciutto and Lemon

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 40 m
  • Total Time: 50 m
  • Servings:


  • 4 to 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 pound cipollini onions peeled
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 3 ounces sliced prosciutto
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season the chicken thighs with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a good glug of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan. Brown the chicken thighs for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the cipollini onions to the pan and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are well browned all over. Deglaze the pan with the marsala wine, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat in the pan and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Return the chicken and any of its juices to the pan and spoon the sauce over the chicken thighs. Tear up the slices of the prosciutto and scatter it over the chicken and sauce. Transfer the pan to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven (remember the handle will be hot). Swirl the remaining tablespoon of butter into the sauce and squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top.
  5. Serve with some rice or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable or salad.
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Comments (8)Post a Reply

    1. Hi Frances. If you don’t want to use wine, you could substitute more stock for the 1 cup of wine. The recipe will have a very different flavor, but use good stock and it will still be tasty.

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for the second time last night and my whole family loved it. The onions are beautiful in this recipe and the flavours are rich and delicious. This meal is perfect for 4 people. I will definitely make this again!

  2. I also love this recipe. The carton of the cipollinis had directions about boiling them in water for about 30-60 seconds then putting ice water, cut off the tips and with skins still on squeezing to pop them out— so easy after that.

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