French Onion Sheet Pan Chicken
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With its bubbly cheese topping and rich flavor, French onion soup is basically the meal of our dreams. Jocelyn Delk Adams’s recipe for French onion sheet pan chicken (from her new cookbook, Everyday Grand) takes inspiration from that dish, in a format that’s both weeknight-friendly and special occasion–worthy.
“When I was eight years old,” she writes, “my daddy took my mom and me to a fancy French restaurant. Up to that point, the only ‘French’ things I’d eaten were fries and toast. To this day, I recall the French onion soup featuring caramelized onions in a flavorful stock and melty cheese that overwhelmed my senses in the best way possible. When I visited Paris decades later, the soup tasted as magical as I remembered. I decided to make a twist on the French onion soup by using chicken thighs. Those epic cheese pulls and caramelized onions are still giving what they need to give, and all those incredible flavors transport me back in time.”
Excerpted with permission from Everyday Grand. Copyright © 2023 by Jocelyn Delk Adams. Photographs copyright © 2023 by Brittany Conerly. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
⅓ cup beef stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Vidalia onions, thinly sliced (about 1½ pounds total)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Leaves from 3 sprigs thyme
⅓ cup dry sherry, dry vermouth or white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
4 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
6 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450°F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the stock and Worcestershire. In another small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper and paprika.
3. Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Lightly brush a large, rimmed baking sheet with oil and sprinkle generously with the seasoning mixture. Place the chicken on the baking sheet, skin side up, and brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Generously season the chicken with the remaining seasoning mixture. Pour the stock mixture around the chicken (not on top), being careful not to rinse off any of the seasoning. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes.
4. While the chicken is cooking, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the butter over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the onions and sugar, season with a couple of generous pinches of salt, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and adjusting the heat as needed to prevent the onions from burning. Remove the lid and cook until the onions turn a light caramel color, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
5. In a small bowl, combine the sherry, parsley and garlic. Remove the chicken from the oven and evenly pour the sherry mixture over the thighs. Evenly divide the caramelized onions over each thigh, followed by the Gruyère.
6. Return the chicken to the oven and bake until the cheese has fully melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Let rest for about 5 minutes, garnish with parsley and serve.