As soon as the leaves start changing the need to pick apples and pumpkins smacks you in the face. While that is true for me, I also fee the urge to consume French onion soup wherever it is offered. You could imagine my excitement when I found a recipe for Braised French Onion Chicken. “The Kitchn” is an amazing site for recipes. I took their recipe and just tweaked it a little bit. When I make French Onion Soup I use sherry. This recipe only uses balsamic vinegar, so I omitted that and added the sherry. I also used beef broth instead of chicken broth. Which might sound weird, but I felt it was important to have this taste like I dipped chicken in French Onion Soup. This is one of the most perfect dishes for fall. A good solid meal before consuming that apple pie you made after your visit to the farm!
3-4 chicken breasts
2 large white onions (sliced into thin “half moons”)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cup beef broth (divided)
2 Tbsp Dijon
2 Tbsp sherry
4 garlic cloves sliced
2 sprigs worth of thyme leaves
1 sprigs worth of rosemary needles
½ cup of flour
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 ½ cups of Gruyere
- First on the agenda is to get going on caramelizing the onions. In a large sauté pan heat the butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the sliced onions. It may look like too much, but they reduce down. Sprinkle the onions with salt and pepper. After about 15 minutes sprinkle them with about a tablespoon of sugar. Try not to move the onions too much. Saute them on a lower flame. It is going to take about 45 minutes to get them to a nice golden brown color. But it is well worth it! Add the rosemary and thyme towards the end of the sautéing time, and cook five minutes more.
- Once you stir the onions and see they are starting to get a deep brown color (don’t worry they aren’t burnt!) splash in a tablespoon of sherry. Then add in 1 cup of beef broth. Then scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring this up to a simmer for 5 minutes.
- When the onions are done transfer them to an oven safe dish, I used a Dutch oven. Now onto the chicken! Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. I will admit I used the same pan as I did for onions. Pat the chicken dry and then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Then dredge it in the flour. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and brown for about 5 minutes on each side. When they’ve developed a golden-brown crust, remove from the pan and set on top of the caramelized onions in the baking dish.
- Add the remaining cup of beef broth and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of sherry and Dijon, simmer for about 5 minutes so it reduces down. Then pour this liquid over the chicken and onions.
- Bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn the heat up to broil. Take the lid off the baking dish, and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the chicken. Return the dish to the oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden on top. You really have to kind of stand watch at this point. There is a lot of liquid in this pan, don’t worry about it burning up.
I served this with an apple and arugula salad with cider-Dijon vinaigrette. I also had sour dough bread for dipping!
Adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com/dinner-recipe-french-onion-chi-144744