French Onion Chicken and Rice

I have been in a meal planning funk lately.  I just cannot get my act together!  So I end up searching through the fridge and pantry at 4:00 praying for inspiration (Easy Ham & Broccoli Bake or Burrito Skillet or Creamy Ham, Potato & Corn Chowder are all delicious results of poor planning skills).

This was yet another of those nights.  This time, I had an irksome half container of beef broth that needed to be used up and I had just purchased chicken thighs.  Beef broth & chicken?  Hmmmm…what to do.

I’d been craving French Onion Soup for a while, but haven’t gotten around to making it (it doesn’t go over well with the kids.)  So I decided to take a simple chicken & rice and elevate it with a French Onion Soup broth!

By adding wine (or more broth) at regular increments during cooking, we’re able to caramelize the onions more quickly, at a higher temperature, and infuse them with a ton of amazing flavor!

This “made it in a pinch” casserole just rocketed to the top of my list!  It is super flavorful and delicious PLUS the whole family ate it (and liked it!)

French Onion Chicken & Rice

2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
½ cup dry red wine
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups beef broth
½ tsp thyme
¼ tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper
28 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (or Gruyere if you're feeling fancy)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and stir to coat.  Continue cooking and stirring the onions until they soften and begin to caramelize, stirring often.  As the onions begin to fry, add a splash of wine and continue cooking.  Add wine and cook until the onions are fully caramelized, about 20 minutes (up to 40 minutes depending on burner heat and how thinly the onions are sliced).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and prepare a baking dish.

Place the rice, broth, thyme, garlic powder, and caramelized onions (reserving about ¼ cup for serving) in the baking dish and stir until mixed.  Place the chicken thighs on top and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so bringing the rice in the center toward to the edges to ensure even cooking.  Casserole is done when the chicken thighs are cooked through and rice is tender. 

Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and return to the oven, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just beginning to brown.

Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

Looking for more?  Try these!

French Onion Soup in Homemade Bread Bowls
French Onion Soup Meatballs
French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese
French Onion Soup - A Twist on a Classic


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