Wonder Chicken

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By Barbara Revsine–“What’s in this?” my twenty-something daughter asked the first time I served her this chicken dish which was destined to become a family classic.

“Taste it first,” I said, convinced she’d be a fan like everyone else who’d sampled it. I was right.

“Wonder chicken,” to use its family name, is a sure-fire winner, a dish that’s as delicious as it is easy to make. The sauce is a simple mix of canned cranberry sauce, a packet of dried onion soup mix, and a cup of red French dressing. Doubling or tripling the recipe doesn’t pose a problem, nor does using a lower-salt onion soup mix or a fat-free French dressing. I like whole-berry cranberry sauce and prefer double (whole) boneless breasts over single.

Preferences aside, the chicken should always be cooked skin-on to keep it moist. Discard the skin prior to eating the chicken and the increase in calorie and fat content is negligible. Apricot jam is sometimes used in lieu of the cranberry sauce and there are probably a few other variations on this theme. What never changes, however, is the onion soup mix, arguably one of the more versatile products launched in the twentieth century.

Makes 6 servings


  • 1, 1-oz to 1.4 oz packet dried onion soup mix (depending on brand)
  • 1 16-oz can of whole cranberry cranberry sauce
  • 1 8-oz jar (1 cup) red French dressing
  • 6 boneless, or bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix sauce ingredients. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased casserole dish. Spoon sauce over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 to 90 minutes. NOTE: boneless chicken breasts cook faster than bone-in. Serve over rice with extra sauce in a gravy boat.

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