French Onion Soup Gratinee

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is one of my favorites and I’ve tried it out at countless restaurants over the years. Some have been delicious, some have been just okay and others have tasted like dish water. But this recipe right here is top-notch! I am heads over heels in love with this version and it’s the only one I make in my kitchen. This soup is rich, beefy, and has such a nice complex flavor. It’s an amazing dish to have on a cold winters night, just add a crusty loaf of bread and a nice glass of wine and you have a perfect evening meal!

When making this dish, make sure you take the time to fully caramelize the onions. It’s the “hardest” step of this soup but it will yield an incredible flavor when it’s finished. Wine is also called for in this recipe, I almost always use Bogle Merlot but by all means, use whatever red wine is your favorite or that you have on hand. Lastly, don’t feel obligated to stick to only mozzarella cheese on top. I am always changing up what cheese I use and sometimes I use a blend. My favorites are Gruyère, Asiago, Parmesan, and of course, mozzarella. You can’t go wrong with any of these! Also, don’t hesitate to throw in a little extra red wine or Worcestershire sauce, it only makes it that much more delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 5 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 lg red onions, sliced thin
  • 2 lg vidalia onions, sliced thin 
  • 48 oz chicken stock (I prefer the Kitchen Basics brand
  • 14 oz beef broth
  • 3/4 cup good red wine
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley 
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme 
  • 1-2 bay leaves 
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 4 thick slices of rustic, crusty bread
  • 8 slices of Gruyère
  • 8 slices of mozzarella
  • Parmesan, for sprinkling

Instructions

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in salt, pepper, and onions. Cook 35 minutes, stirring frequently, until caramelized and almost syrupy. If the onions start to stick to the pan too much, lower the heat and add a little extra butter.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Add in the Worcestershire, chicken stock and beef broth. Bundle the herbs in a tea strainer or cheesecloth and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for about 25-30 minutes.

Remove the herb bundle, add the vinegar and adjust seasonings. Cover and keep on low while you prepare the bowls.

Preheat broiler. Place 4 oven safe bowls on a sturdy cookie sheet. Place one slice of bread in each bowl and then ladle in the soup. Top with cheese. Broil until brown and bubbly. Serve hot.

 

 

 

French Onion Soup Chicken with Pasta

frenchonionsoup

One of my most favorite foods in the world is French Onion Soup Gratinee. It has such an incredible depth of flavor and there is nothing better on a cold day than a hot bowl of soup dripping with ooey gooey cheese. This meal right here is like French Onion Soup on a plate, it was absolutely divine! I adapted this recipe from one posted by For the Love of Cooking. The recipe calls for cooking the chicken in a separate pan but for the sake of convenience and because I didn’t want to waste any yummy bits I cooked the whole meal in my enameled cast iron dutch oven. Less to clean and more flavor imparted into the dish.

Original Recipe – French Onion Chicken Breast

Next time, red wine is absolutely in order. I usually add Merlot to my own French Onion Soup recipe but sadly, I had none left in the house this evening. I think adding red wine to the sauce would add another nice dimension of flavor to this meal. If you would like to add red wine, throw some in after you add the garlic and thyme to the onions. Adding it at this point will help to deglaze the pan and it’ll give the wine a chance to burn off the alcohol. Then continue with the recipe as instructed.

Because this recipe made a nice amount of sauce I decided to boil some penne pasta to go alongside the chicken. I tossed 1/2 lb of pasta with a 2 tbs of salted butter, a few splashes of the pasta cooking water, and a few healthy spoonfuls of the chicken sauce after cooking. To finish off the pasta I mixed in a nice handful of shredded mozzarella. It was absolutely delicious and a perfect, easy side dish for this meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced (I used Vidalia)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups beef broth (or stock if you’d like a richer flavor)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded OR Gruyere, grated

Instructions

Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and a little salt and pepper and cook until they are a deep golden brown, about 25-30 min. Add a bit of beef broth/stock as need to deglaze the pan and keep the onions from burning. You want deep, rich browned onions, not burnt ones so the key here is low and slow.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the garlic, thyme, and flour to the onions and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add wine here if you’re using it and cook for about 2-3 minutes so that it deglazes the pan, make sure to scrape up all of the browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Add in 1 cup of beef broth/stock, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove the onions and sauce, reserve in a bowl for later. Add the oil to the dutch oven and heat it up. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and then add to the hot oil. Brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.

Add the remaining beef broth/stock and deglaze it, making sure to scrape up the browned bits from the chicken. Whisk in the mustard and vinegar, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the onions and sauce back into the pot and mix well to combine. Add in a few splashes of beef broth/stock if the mixture seems too thick. Add the chicken back into the pot, spoon the sauce over each piece, cover with a lid and bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Remove from oven and sprinkle shredded cheese all over the chicken and broil until melted and browned. Remove the chicken from the pot and plate on dishes. If you made the pasta as a side, toss some of the sauce with the pasta and then plate alongside the chicken. Spoon extra sauce over both and finish it off with a light sprinkle of parsley.

Enjoy.