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soup, an anniversary and Paris

It is well known that I love soup. French Onion Soup is at the top of my list. I have been craving it since my dear friends, Scott and Amy Kilpatrick, went to Paris to celebrate their 25th Anniversary back in June.

While planning their trip, they asked me for recommendations on where to eat and things to do. I sent them This Link to one of my blog posts from nearly 8 years ago.

At the top of my must-eat list is the French Onion Soup at Royal Madeleine. They went and I was soon receiving texts that the restaurant does not serve the soup in the summer.

Dang, it! I had no idea. I cropped off more of Scott’s text since it was too derogatory and obscene towards “French Frogs” for me to repeat here. I do love him, he’s a funny and adorably sarcastic guy! And Amy is just the sweetest, I adore her and you already know her too. She is The Amy of Amy’s Famous Taco Soup.

Anyhow, the last time we were there it was late May and the soup was on the menu. I guess it comes off at the end of May. It made me sad they missed out but I understand. I don’t enjoy soup as much in the heat of summer either, which is why, even though I’ve been craving it for months, I have yet to make it.

Well, I tamed a bit of the craving when I made this French Onion Soup inspired recipe for our Sunday supper. I should have thought to invite Amy and Scott over to make up for their disappointment.

A few notes before we get to the recipe. Do not rush to process caramelizing the onions. It takes time, about an hour, to get them just right. In the photo above, they had been cooking for 45 minutes. I had browned off all the chicken in the meantime. It took another 5 minutes or so after that for them to get even the slightest bit of color.

But then, just like that, they were done about 10 minutes later. It will happen. Don’t get frustrated.

Also, don’t fret about the chicken not being cooked through when you’re browning it. It will cook to perfection in the oven later, I promise.

Lastly, four pounds of onions is a lot of onion! You’re going to need a very large skillet to not only cook them all down in but to also fit all the chicken thighs in one layer. If you don’t have a big skillet, the reicpe can easily be cut in half. And I call for 8 to 10 chicken thighs, because when you buy the family pack from the grocery store, that is what you get, somewhere between 8 and 10 thighs per package.

French Onion Soup-Style Chicken Thighs

  • 4 pounds sweet onions, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 to 10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed to keep onions from sticking
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Sliced the onions in 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place an extra-large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, turn the heat to medium-low and add the sliced onions, separating them into individual rings as they are added to the skillet. Slowly cook until the onions are a medium caramel color, about 1 hour.

Do not try to rush it, it takes time and patience to get perfectly caramelized onions. Stir often, then near the end of cooking, add 1 tablespoon of chicken broth at a time, if needed, as the onions stick to the bottom of the pan. This will bring up the brown bits at the bottom and prevent the onions from burning.

Meanwhile, season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat another large skillet over medium-high heat and add the other tablespoon of olive oil.

Place 3 or 4 of the thighs in the skillet and brown each side of the chicken for about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and brown another 3 or 4 thighs at a time. Repeat with any remaining thighs.

Remove the last batch of chicken from the pan, drain off and discard the fat. Off the heat, immediately, add 1/4 cup of the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add the 2 cups of chicken broth to the skillet, set aside, and wait for the onions to finish.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the onions are nice and browned, add the garlic, dried thyme, and flour to the onions and stir well to combine. Continue to cook and stir for 3 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.

Add the broth-wine mixture from the other skillet and stir for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil, the sauce will start to thicken in a few minutes. Turn off the heat.

Place chicken back into the skillet atop the onions. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle the grated cheese over each thigh. Place skillet on the lower oven rack and broil until cheese is melted and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes, keep a close eye on it.

To serve, spoon some of the onions onto a dinner plate and place 2 thighs on top per serving.

Serves 4 to 5

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1 comment

1 Peggy { 08.28.18 at 12:43 PM }

This looks so yummy! I’ll let you know if mine turns out anything like yours!

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