I love French Onion Soup. It’s the combination of so many of my favorite flavors that I can’t resist it! All those deeply caramelized onions and lots and lots of gooey, melted cheese! How can anyone not want to live on the stuff? But Mr. C. thinks he’s not crazy about French Onion Soup so I decided to throw him a curve ball and I made French Onion Chicken.
The plan: Make a dish that has something Mr. C admits he likes (chicken thighs) and something he says he’s not wild about (French Onion Soup) and have him love it. I’ll tell you right up front, it worked! He said we should have French Onion Chicken often! Yay me! Okay…Yay French Onion anything!
To make the dish I sliced a bunch of onions (5) semi-thin and then sliced the slices in half to make crescent shape onion slices.
I melted 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over high heat and, when it foamed up I added the sliced onions. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and reduced the heat.
The onions cooked down over medium low heat and become slightly caramelized. Then I threw in 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (dried is fine but the plant was right there), and 2 cloves of garlic that I’d minced.
I turned the heat up again to high and poured in 1 cup of beef broth and 1/4 cup of white wine. You can actually use up to 1/2 cup of wine but it tends to dry Mr. C out so I cut it back. I let the liquid boil for a few minutes to reduce it just a bit. Then I set that pan aside.
It is at this point you should turn on the oven to preheat. I had my Herb Roasted Potatoes in there so the oven was already at 400 degrees. I lowered it to 350 since the potatoes were nearly done.
In a separate skillet I melted 1 tablespoon of butter and browned my chicken thighs a bit. I would have let them brown more but I’d had to go uptown and dinner was late already.
When the chicken was browned I poured the onions and the broth/wine liquid in a 13 x 9 inch casserole and topped them with the chicken thighs.
The chicken thighs only take about 30 minutes since they’ve cooked a bit in the skillet. When they reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees I top them with 2 slices of Swiss cheese each and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the thighs. Then I turn the oven up to 450 degrees to melt the cheese and finish cooking the chicken.
can should put the casserole under the broiler after the cheese melts to brown the cheese. It’s really wonderful this way but I can’t get down to my broiler! LOL
Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
I like to put a bit of parsley on top of the chicken for a little color.
French Onion Chicken
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 – 5 large onions, sliced into crescents
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large sprig rosemary fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 6 chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless but bone-in, skin on is fine)
- 12 slices Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Parsley, finely chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet with high sides.
- When the butter foams add the onion slices and stir them to coat them in the butter.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook them over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn a light golden brown (about 30 – 40 minutes).
- Add the minced garlic, thyme, and rosemary (sprig or dried) and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn the heat to high and cook the onion mixture for about 5 more minutes, stirring frequently. You want the onions to turn a dark caramel color.
- Add the beef broth and white wine and bring to a boil for a few minutes until liquid is slightly reduced.
- Pour onion mixture into a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish and set aside.
- Melt the remaining butter in a skillet (you can do this while the onions are cooking down).
- Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel to dry them and then season with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook them over high heat until they are golden brown on both sides.
- Place chicken on top of onions and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. The internal temperature should be about 150 degrees at this point.
- Top each thigh with 2 slices of Swiss cheese then sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly over the Swiss cheese.
- Turn heat up to 450 degrees and return dish to oven until the cheese has melted and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees. It will finish cooking as it rests.
- Allow chicken to rest for about 5 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
*You can pull the chicken out when it is about 145 degrees, top with cheeses and return to oven to melt then put the dish under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese. It’s wonderful that way but I can’t get down to my broiler to do this!
I serve French Onion Chicken with Herb Roasted Potatoes and a green vegetable.