Chicken Lyonnaise

"This dish was on the first-class dinner menu of the Titanic, according to the book, "Last Dinner on the Titanic" (Hyperion/Madison Press). It is much better with fresh thyme if it is available."
photo by Sharlene~W photo by Sharlene~W
photo by Sharlene~W
Ready In:




  • In a plastic bag, shake together the flour, 1 tablespoon thyme (1/2 teaspoon if using dried), salt and pepper.
  • One at a time, dip chicken breasts into the egg, and then shake in flour mixture.
  • In a large deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Place chicken in pan, skin side down.
  • Cook, turning once, for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from skillet and place chicken in 225°F oven to keep warm.
  • Reduce heat to medium; add remaining oil to skillet.
  • Stir in onions, garlic and remaining thyme.
  • Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook onions, stirring often, for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.
  • Add wine to pan.
  • Cook, stirring to scrape up any brown bits, for about 1 minute or until reduced by half.
  • Stir in stock, tomato paste and sugar.
  • Boil for 2 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
  • Return chicken to pan, turning to coat.
  • Cook for 5 minutes or until juices from chicken run clear.
  • *To make cutlets, cut chicken breast into 2-3 pieces of approximately equal size. Cover with plastic wrap and gently pound to even 1/2-inch thickness. Cutlets cook more evenly and are more tender than a whole breast piece.

Questions & Replies

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  1. My family and I found this dish to be disappointing. Problem areas: It's quite bland and needs a lot more seasoning; the flour/spice mixture is insufficient for six chicken breasts, and using a plastic bag to coat the chicken creates a gooey mess very early on; the sauce is tasty and would help flavor the chicken but there isn't nearly enough of it. In all, in following the recipe exactly, the end result really wasn't worth the time and effort.<br/><br/>I have no doubt that this is the recipe from the book, "Last Dinner on the Titanic" but whether it's the same meal that was actually served on the ship is debatable. I suspect the actual recipe has probably been altered many times over the years, and something has been lost along the way. If I were going to make it again I would look for Chicken Lyonnaise in a good French cookbook (since it is a French recipe) instead of using this version.
  2. I'm tossed up between 2 and 3 stars on this one. I enjoyed how tender the chicken was, but the flavors were competing with each other. Definitely worth trying at least once, but it didn't work out for my family. Thank you!<br/><br/>Tagged for the "I Recommend" Game - December 2010.
  3. I found it easier to put flour and thyme in a tray to coat rather than a bag. I used the 2 tablespoons of fresh in the flour and then another tablespoon in the sauce. I had to sub spring onion (scallion) for the onion due to allergy issues. Used the 1 1/2 cups of stock but thought this made it a bit thin, would possibly add a teaspoon of corn flour (cornstarch) or DH's idea of subbing a 410gm of finely chopped tomatoes for the tomatoe paste. We all (4)thoroughly enjoyed the taste and DH sliced up 1/2 of one of the left over breasts to put in a sandwich for lunch the next day.
  4. Very interesting. I wiould like to make this because it is a part of history. I hope the First Class Guests got to finish their meal. :-(


I live in the San Francisco area and love it here. I discovered Recipezaar (then Kitchen) in 2001 and have been so happy to have my favorite recipes stored safely here. I am mother to 7 and grandmother to 7. I love to knit, smock, sew, etc., but my favorite hobby of the moment is traditional rug hooking. This is a sample of what I do.? It's called "November".? I dyed most of the wool myself. It is made from wool flannel, cut into strips a little less than 1/4" and then worked into a linen backing. This is my 3rd rug.
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