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French Onion Chicken Casserole

French Onion Chicken Casserole (31)

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If you ask me what my favorite soup is I’ll tell you it’s definitely French onion. This dish combines all the ingredients of French onion soup into a chicken casserole. This is my French Onion Chicken Casserole.

I wanted to make a few changes to the recipe, making the dish my own. The part of the French Onion Soup I love the most is the bread and the cheese. I think everyone would agree on the cheese, but the bread, people either love that component of the soup or they don’t. I love the way the toasted bread acts as a bed absorbing all the juices and becomes melt in your mouth delicious.

Let’s get started with the onions.

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Onions

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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French Onion Chicken Casserole (31)

French Onion Chicken Casserole (33)

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, paring knife, toothpicks, 1 meat-safe cutting board

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of butter, unsalted and divided
4 large onions, halved and sliced thinly into half-moons
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, (optional)
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of white wine, or sherry
1 (10.5-ounce) can of beef consommè (substitute unsalted beef broth)
1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) of Gruyère cheese, freshly grated (substitute Mozzarella)
4 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish
1 package of pretoasted baguette slices or grilled and sliced Ciabatta bread (optional)

Note: If you can’t find pre-toasted baguette slices, it’s easy enough to make them yourself, and they should be made in advance of this dish.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 loaf of baguette, 1/4-inch slices (yields 16 slices)

Directions For Grilled Baguette:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the slices with olive oil and season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Directions For Caramelized Onions:
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add onions, granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and half the fresh thyme leaves. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and cook, while stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and jammy, around 15 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup of the beef consommé when the pan gets too dry and continue stirring until onions are browned.

Pour in white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any of the bits sticking to the bottom. Allow the wine to reduce, cook for 1 minute until sauce thickens slightly.

Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, cook for 1 minute more. Turn the heat off and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Directions For Stuffing Chicken Breasts:
On a meat-safe board layout the six chicken breasts. Using a paring knife cut a slit into the side of the breast 3 inches long and 1/ 1/2 inches deep. Be sure not to cut all the way through. You just want to form a pocket for the stuffing. Do this to all the chicken breasts.

Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions into each pocket.  Next, add as much of the shredded cheese as you’re able to fit inside the pocket. Do Not over stuff.  Seal with toothpicks.

In a small mixing bowl add garlic powder, dried rosemary, dried thyme, 1 tablespoon of  Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine. Using the seasoning mix, season both sides of each chicken breast.

In the same sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter with the olive oil. Cook the stuffed chicken breasts until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven. Transfer the seared chicken breast to a large platter. Set aside.

Transfer the remaining caramelized onions to the greased baking dish spreading them out into one even layer.

With the pan still over medium-high heat, pour the remaining beef consommé into the sauté pan. *Deglaze the pan (using a wooden spoon, scrape all the chicken bits from the bottom of the pan). Reduce the heat and simmer until broth reduces by half. There should be about 1/2 cup of sauce in the pan.

Add 1/4 cup of the sauce to the prepared baking dish pouring it over the caramelized onions. This step is totally optional, if you choose, arrange the toasted baguette slices on top of the onions. The bread will soak up all the juices and act as a bed for the chicken.

Lay the stuffed chicken breasts on top of the slices of grilled baguette. Spoon the remaining 1/4 cup of sauce from the pan over each chicken breast. Top with the remaining thyme leaves. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165-degrees F.

Before serving, remove, and discard all toothpicks.

To Serve: Place one of the stuffed chicken breasts onto a serving plate along with some of the onions, grilled bread, and pan juices. Sprinkle the top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and Italian flat-leaf parsley. There you have it my French Onion Chicken Casserole.

*Deglaze: To dilute meat sediments in a pan and/or pot to make a gravy or sauce, typically using broth or wine.

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Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis

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If you and your family love garlic, this dish is one that you’ll be asked to make this dish again and again. This is my Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis.

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Prep Time For Soup: 20 minutes
Cook Time For Soup: 1 hour
Total Time For Soup: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, cheese grater, Chef’s knife, foil, and parchment paper

Note: While the garlic is roasting, sautè the mushrooms and grate the Gruyere cheese. When the garlic is finished roasting, adjust the oven temperature for the Frenc baguette.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
8 heads of garlic, (reserve 2 heads for garlic oil)
1/4 cup garlic infused oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups of chicken stock, unsalted (substitute vegetable broth/stock)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

Ingredients For Sautèed Mushrooms:
1-pint of cremini mushrooms, sliced, quartered if small (substitute white button mushrooms)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped (substitute 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Toasted Crostini:
1 loaf of French baguette, sliced on the bias (yields 16 slices)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Gruyère cheese, freshly grated
prepared sautèed mushrooms
*E.V.O.O.

Directions For Garlic Oil:
In a small saucepot, on med-low heat add 1/2 a cup of olive oil and 2 heads of garlic, cut in half lengthwise (cut lengthwise through the middle), face down into the oil. Bring the temperature up nice and slow, so that the garlic infuses with the oil. Simmer for 20 minutes. You DO NOT want the oil to boil. After 20 minutes turn the heat off and allow the garlic to continue to steep in the oil. Using a pair of tongs, remove the garlic heads. Reserve 1/4 cup of the garlic oil.

Directions For Roasted Garlic:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.

Peel most of the outer paper off the garlic bulb. Trim about 1/4-inch off the top off the garlic bulb. Do this for each of the six heads of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface allowing the oil to seep down into the cloves. Season with Kosher salt, and pepper. Wrap the 6 exposed garlic bulbs in foil, place on a rimmed baking sheet pan, and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done when a center clove is completely soft when pierced with a paring knife. Roasting time may vary depending on the size of your garlic. Remove from the oven and let cool. Squeeze out the roasted garlic into a bowl.

Note: Even once soft,  you have the option to continue roasting until deeply golden for a more caramelized flavor. Check the garlic every 10 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool then remove their skins. Roasted garlic can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Directions For Toasted Crostini:
Adjust oven temperature to 375-degrees F.
Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle into 1/2 -inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top surface of each slice of baguette bread lightly with the remaining garlic oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden.

Directions For Sautèed Mushrooms:
Preheat a large sautè pan on medium, add unsalted butter and olive oil. Once melted, add sliced mushrooms fresh thyme, and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms become lightly browned. Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper, stir through. Simmer for an additional 8 minutes. Turn heat off and set aside.

Directions For Roasted Garlic Soup:
In a large Dutch oven, on medium heat add the roasted garlic cloves along with 1/4 cup of the garlic oil. Mash the cloves into the oil. Add the all-purpose flour to that mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon, cook for 5 to 6 minutes until a dark *roux is achieved. Change to a large whisk, add 1 cup of the chicken stock, whisk to incorporate. Repeat until all the chicken (or vegetable broth/stock) has been used. Add the chopped fresh rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to warm (if you don’t have that setting remove from the heat), and cover.

Spoon a tablespoon of the sautéed mushrooms on each crostini and add 1 tablespoon of freshly grated Gruyère to each slice. Place back into the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.

To Serve:
Ladle the hot soup into a serving bowl. Arrange 2 slices of the Mushroom and Gruyère Cheese Crostinis on top of the roasted garlic soup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary and a drizzle of your best *E.V.O.O. This dish is one that you will be making again and again. There you have it my Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Crostinis.

Note: This recipe yields extra toasted baguette slices for extra Gruyère And Mushroom Crostinis.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

*Roux: A roux is a cooked mixture of flour and fat (usually, butter) as a thickening agent in sauces and/or soups.

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Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis

dsc001411

If You love garlic you’ll adore this soup. Check out my recipe for Roasted Garlic Soup Topped With Mushroom And Gruyère Cheese Crostinis.

Roasted Garlic Soup With Mushroom and Gruyere Crostini

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