I love the filling taste of a great bowl of French onion soup. What could be more satisfying on a cold winter day? To me, it’s like comfort in a bowl, so I incorporated its basic ingredients into a recipe I think you will really enjoy. The chicken is braised, which makes it so tender you won’t need a knife. Braising is a simple technique that ensures even the toughest cuts of meat will be tender. Just sear the meat on all sides in a sauté pan, then simmer it slowly in liquid in a covered pot on the stovetop or in the oven. It takes a couple of hours, but you will be pleased with the results. You can even substitute thick boneless pork chops in this recipe if you’d like.
BRAISED FRENCH ONION CHICKEN
6 boneless chicken breast halves or chicken thighs
2 large onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
5 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ - 2 cups of chicken stock (you can substitute beef if you’d like)
1 ½ - 2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
6-8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
6 toasted baguette slices
Melt the butter in a deep sauté pan over medium heat on stove top. When butter is melted and bubbling, add the onions. Stir until the onions are coated in butter, sprinkle with the Kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Cover and simmer the onions for 30-40 minutes over low heat or until they get caramelized.
While onions are simmering, brown chicken on all sides in a sauté pan. When browned, transfer chicken to a casserole dish.
Once onions are caramelized, stir in the fresh thyme and deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of the white wine. Add 1 ¼ cups of white wine, 1 ½ cups of chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and stir until well blended. Pour mixture on top of chicken. Liquid should cover chicken ¾ of the way. If it doesn’t, add equal parts of the wine and the stock. Top with the sprigs of fresh rosemary. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until chicken is falling apart.
When chicken is done, top each piece with grated Gruyere and place casserole under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. To serve, but a baguette slice on plate, ladle a bit of the liquid from the casserole onto the baguette, and top with a piece of the chicken. Spoon some of the onions and liquid on top of chicken as well. Enjoy!
By the way, Cork Restaurant will celebrate Mardi Gras on Feb. 28 and March 1 with specials including Jambalaya, Gumbo, Bananas Foster, Hurricanes and much more.