The 4-Ingredient French Chicken Recipe That Almost Broke the Internet by Donna John

The 4-Ingredient French Chicken Recipe That Almost Broke the Internet

Well, maybe not the whole internet but this french chicken recipe is always trending on 30Seconds. Bottled french salad dressing, dry onion soup mix and apricot preserves? If this chicken recipe sounds a little strange to you, know you are not alone. But hold on! This saucy french baked chicken was délicieuse (delicious)!

This french chicken recipe is not named french chicken as in the country of origin, but because of the french salad dressing used to prepare it. French dressing is an American dressing, funny enough, and available on the salad dressing aisle at most U.S. grocery stores. French salad dressing is creamy, and can range in color from pale orange to bright red. The main ingredients in french salad dressing is oil, vinegar and sugar.

This oven-baked chicken dinner has simple preparation and ingredients. Season the chicken with black pepper and salt and place it into a casserole dish. Mix together a bottle of french salad dressing, a package of dry onion soup mix and a small jar of apricot preserves. Pour the sweet sauce over the chicken and bake in the oven, basting occasionally, until cooked through.

My favorite part were the little bits of apricot from the preserves and the once-dried bits in the onion soup mix that added texture and flavor. Give this easy four-ingredient budget chicken recipe a try. I bet it becomes a requested recipe for dinner.

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Time: 50 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes
Servings: 6


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Recipe Notes

  • I used Smucker's Simply Fruit Apricot Preserves, Wish-Bone Deluxe French Dressing and Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix.
  • I used bone-in thighs for this recipe, but you could use boneless chicken thighs. Cooking time will need to be adjusted.
  • If you don't have apricot preserves, try peach or even orange marmalade instead. 

Here's how to make it:

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and put it into a baking dish.
  2. Combine the salad dressing, soup mix and preserves in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture over the chicken, making sure to cover the chicken completely.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Baste occasionally with the sauce.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 501

Total Fat: 20.7g

Saturated Fat: 5.7g

Cholesterol: 189mg

Sodium: 600mg

Total Carbohydrate: 30.3g

Dietary Fiber: 1g

Total Sugars: 7.1g

Protein: 52.7g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 28mg

Iron: 3mg

Potassium: 420mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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That looks tasty and tangy, yum!
Louise Brunel
This recipe is so delicious and easy to make!
Elisa Schmitz
I love apricot! This sounds like something my whole family would devour, Donna John !
Donna John
This was so good! Need to add it to my rotation next week.
Rudi Pittman
Made this yesterday. It was very good! I actually air fried the chicken first and think if I had made the sauce separate in my instant pot it would have been even better because the skin would have stayed crispy on the bone in thighs I used. It reminded me of sesame chicken from tasting the spoon before heating it up so I added some cayenne pepper to it so it would have a little heat...this turned out well although I should have used MORE cayenne pepper. SInce I had cooked the chicken already for 30 minutes in air fryer I set the instant pot for 15 minutes, added the chicken and then poured the sauce over it all.
Donna John
Thanks for sharing your tips! I have an air fryer and an Instant Pot, but would have never thought to use them for this recipe. Great idea. Love the idea of adding cayenne. I like things spicy, too. Rudi Pittman
Rudi Pittman
Using the air fryer first got rid of alot of the grease that would normally accumulate in the sauce especially if you plan to keep those crispy skins on. Next time I'll just cook the sauce in the instant pot for about 3 minutes (plus time bringing it up to pressure) and pour it over the air fried chicken. I think it will work similar to hot wings where they fry it and then apply the sauce.
Maura Cohen
May be tasty but this is a caloric/sugar nightmare. You could easily get the same flavor with half these ingredients. Have you read the labels in these items?
Donna John
Not everything we eat is heathy for us. I do read labels, but do have recipes that we love in my rotation that aren't as healthy as others. Everything in moderation. I would love to know what ingredients you would use that are healthier for this recipe. Always looking for healthy ways to tweak recipes. Please share! And thanks for your comments. Maura Cohen
P.R. Banks
I totes agree!!!
Sarah Cortez
I agree! This is not a diet recipe site. Home cooking is still much better! You can always substitute the jam for chopped apricots. Serve with great organic salad.
I made this tonight and it was delicious. I agree the sugar content was a little high, but I managed that by not slurping up all the sauce (even though I wanted to). You could also get a no added sugar version of the apricot preserves. I cooked 8 thighs and there was more than enough sauce, so just don't eat it. I ate 2 thighs and after reading the labels, I estimate that I consumed less than 30g of sugar. It's definitely not Keto, but that is less than half of a 20oz Coke and I made no effort to reduce the sugar content whatsoever beyond limiting my sauce consumption. There are far worse options.
Donna John
I hear ya. Everything in moderation! I will work on a lower sugar version of this recipe. Great idea.
What a tangy delicious dinner! 🍗
Melissa Degnan
would like to know substitute for apricot could you use orange marmalade? family members have allergy but want to try sounds delicious 😋
Donna John
Melissa Degnan I don't see why not. The flavor would change and be more citrusy, but that still sounds delicious. If you try it that way, please let us know how it turned out for you!
I never join sites such as this but your recipe pulled me in. It's PERFECT. First simple, then you list the EXACT ingredients even showing pictures. I detest cooking but this is a very simple recipe and easy to follow. I can handle this! :)
Donna John
Welcome, ahope3333 ! I am so glad you found us! This recipe was so good. Surprisingly good. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Judging by the ingredients; it's basically sweet and sour chicken.
Donna John
Not really. Sweet and sour chicken is pieces of boneless chicken with vegetables and usually pineapple. I wouldn't compare the two and make them both. I hope you'll try this recipe and see for yourself.
Sarah Cortez
Sweet and sour chicken has soy sauce and is much much sweeter. Apricot chicken goes back as far as 1980 and probably further back than that.
Meredith Bloomberg
I grew up eating this dish. It was a family favorite. My mom always made it with Milani 1890.
Donna John
I've never heard of that french dressing. Will have to check it out! Meredith Bloomberg
This looks delicious! Would it work with a sweet French like Catalina or Western dressings or would that make it too sweet?
Donna John
Those would work, but it would be a touch sweeter. And not as orange. :-)
This is almost the same as recipe my mom used to make for my family growing up. We called it Cranberry Chicken! I'm 33 now and I still make it all the time... it will always be a favorite. It's one bottle of Wishbone Russian dressing, one packet of onion mushroom soup mix by Lipton and one can of whole cranberries by Ocean Spray and 2-4 bone In half chicken breasts. I bake it covered for the first half and uncovered for the remaining time. Very similar to the recipe and I'm sure interchangeable!
Donna John
Yes! I've heard of that recipe! Need to make it and get it published here. Thanks for the reminder.
Elaine Marcantonio
I see you used Smuckers Simply Fruit. There is no àdded sugar, so that cuts down on sugar! If you have broccoli and baked sweet potatoes that will make your meal healthy (maybe almost too healthy! LOL)
Donna John
Nothing wrong with "too healthy!" :-)
JD Champ
I have tried this with Catalina dressing and McCormick chicken in a bag seasoning, with a little brown sugar and it's fantastic!
Donna John
Great tips! So glad you enjoyed it!
Sharon Goulding
This has been a favorite at parties, gatherings, cookouts, etc for close to 40 years now. I’ve used several different flavors of jams and marmalades and always loved. However, I’ve always used wings. Works well baked, in crockpot and keeps well in chafing trays. Mac or potato salad is a great go with!!
Drooling here Donna John. That chicken looks absolutely scrumptious! I already have the chicken and apricot jam - & just completed my grocery list for tomorrow. Both the soup and salad dressing were already on it as pantry restocks, so maybe I'll have to buy 2 of each lol. Great karma or what? 🙃
Donna John
Ha! Yes! I am trying three new chicken recipes this week because of great pantry karma. :-)
This probably doesn't make a difference to you, but I would call this French's chicken. They don't have french dressing in France unless they're looking in an American market. It's probably very good. But it's not French. It is French's though. Sounds like a variation of a barbeque sauce with a twist. I'm sure it is very tasty.
Donna John
It's called french chicken because of the salad dressing, but because it is from France. Great point! Who would have thought french dressing was American? :-)
Cathy Plotnick
I make this with Russian Dressing. I have never known it with the soup mix in it. Just the dressing and apricot preserves. I also sometimes sub the apricot preserves with Jalapeno jelly for a spicier kick. Not sure I would add the soup mix as I try to limit sodium. I serve it on rice. The sauce is amazing and tangy.
Donna John
Love the idea of using jalapeno jelly!
Helen Rosati
After a very busy day, I chose to try this recipe. Not only was it delicious, but as tired as I was, it only took a few minutes to prepare. What a great surprise! Absolutely loved this chicken.
Donna John
That makes me so happy to hear! Thank you for letting us know. More easy chicken recipes coming soon. They're in our test kitchens now.
Sarah Cortez
This is an old recipe that I forgot about. A college friend would bring this for lunch from the night before in 1986. Now several decades later with type 2 D, I would still make it! I would substitute apricot preserves for either real apricots or no-sugar canned apricots and chop them up. It went very well with rice but today it would be a nice salad.
Donna John
Glad this recipe brought back memories for you! Love the idea of using apricots.
Tricia Hartnett Farley
My mother used to make this for us when growing up......all 8 of us loved it!! I thank god I have her recipe, so I to have made it quite a few times! For parties also, everyone always asked for the recipe! YUM
Donna John
Love this! Thanks for sharing!
Love your chicken recipies! Great comments as well! Regarding healthy alrernatives using less ingrediants...I put this one under comfort food! I kinda like a little grease and sugar myself! In fact I think Ill add a little pineapple juice to the sauce and pineapple chunks on top! Also I think some lemon pepper for seasoning. Serve with rice...need the sauce! Bon apitite!
Donna John
Pineapple chunks are a great idea!
Leila Menouar
Has anyone tried this recipe with SKINLESS boneless chicken thighs? I got all the ingredients to make this tonight but then I looked at the photo and noticed your pieces have skin and my package doesn’t. Will that change the taste significantly?
Donna John
It shouldn't change the taste. Because of all the sauce, you probably won't miss the skin. Great idea! Let us know how it turns out!
French dressing in my region is 15 ounces. Please confirm the recipe is for 8 ounces of dressing. Thanks!
Donna John
Yes, ma'am. 8 ounces.
Django Washband
I'm making this sous vide tonight. I put half the sauce in the bag and will reserve the other half for when i broil, and baste it
Donna John
Love this idea! I've thought about buying a sous vide machine. Would love your opinion on them. Django Washband
Kathy Jones Cromer
What other flavor could I use other than apricot?
Soberlink Reviews
Thanks. Love this dish.
Looks like an Italian dish but I know it's French that someone I know that lives outside of Paris Marseille and do you have any tips on how to prepare ahead of time or can you The is there any variations if you have a chance to share thank you
This looks delicious! A good way to cut the fat is to brown the chicken on both sides then bake in the sauce. I am definitely going to try this recipe.
Donna John
Great idea about browning the chicken first. I've started to do that more often with my chicken recipes. Though this one was great without the extra step. Hope you enjoy it!
Janet C
I made this just as the recipe stated. Really nice dinner! I was concerned it may be too sweet but it was not. Easy and delish enough for company. Definitely will be serving this to friends. I served it with a baked sweet potato.
Donna John
So glad you enjoyed it!! Love the idea of serving it with baked sweet potatoes. Keep with the orange theme! :)
This looks like just what I need to make a quick supper after work. Thanks.
Penny Blake
Made last night. Fabulous. Husband is a light eater and he had seconds. We loved it.
Donna John
I am so happy ya'll enjoyed the recipe! It's one of our favorites. Gotta have seconds! :-)

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