The main event for the parents’ dinner? French onion chicken.
It’s impressive, easy to make, absolutely delicious, and can be made a day ahead of time. I cooked the chicken longer than the recipe said to, but it just made the chicken even more tender. The thighs melt in your mouth! And the juices were soaked up by some yummy garlic bread.
Funny thing though, I was so concerned about getting everyone fed that I forgot to finish with the Gruyere cheese on top! I know, silly me. But, honestly? We didn’t even miss it! I made the leftovers with the cheese and to be honest, I didn’t really need it. So feel free to leave it out all together if you don’t like it.
Just a warning: when you’re sweating out those onions to caramelize them, put on your vent fan! The onions permeated the house and both Tim and I had tears running down our faces for about 20 minutes.
I only snapped one picture, I’m not too good at making people wait just so I can get pictures for my blog!
French Onion Chicken with Gruyère
Adapted from The Kitchn
(serves 6-8 )
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds onions, sliced into thin half-moons
4 garlic cloves, sliced
10 sprigs thyme, leaves only
2 cups chicken or beef broth, divided
1/3 c. red wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, finely grated or shaved (about 1 cup)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven over medium low heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, use the largest pot you have. Add onions and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the onions for about 40 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
When the onions have developed an even light brown color, add the garlic and thyme leaves. Cook for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions turn a rich mahogany color. Add 1 cup of the beef broth slowly, scraping the pan to get up any good bits left on the bottom. After all the broth is added, bring it up to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
Take the onions off the heat and put them aside.
Heat the oven to 325°F. (Or if you’re cooking this the next day…hold off)
Pat the chicken thighs dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. When the Dutch oven is hot, add the chicken and brown for about 3 minutes on each side, 6 minutes total. When they’ve developed a golden-brown color, remove from the pan and set aside with the onions.
Add the remaining 1 cup of broth to the pan. Again, scraping up browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour in the red wine and mustard and simmer for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the chicken and onions, along with the juices, back into the Dutch oven. Or, if you don’t have a Dutch oven, put it in a baking dish.
At this point, you can put it in the fridge for 1-2 days. If you’re going this route, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, or add 15-20 minutes to the cooking time.
Bake, covered, at 325°F for one hour.
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 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted, golden and bubbling on top.
Serve in bowls or rimmed plates.