I took inspiration from French Onion soup and Chicken Rice soup to come up with this French Onion Chicken Rice Soup! I made this recipe dairy free but you’re welcome to add some Gruyere or Parmesan Cheese at the end. Or butter with your caramelized onions.
I’ve been itching to make some french onion soup but I’ve yet to go out and get those cute little soup crocks. I’m not about to half-ass a recipe for you folks and French Onion soup demands cute little soup crocks! Leave me a comment below if you have any suggestions and I’ll give you a shout out if I pick yours.
This is one of those recipes that seems complex but it’s actually really simple. It does take a bit of attention with the onions and rice cooking but it’s not brain surgery. Take a couple hours to make this soup and it’ll pay off for a few days during the week. It’s a special hearty delicious treat!
French Onion Soup is traditionally made with veal stock – good luck finding that at Acme. To replicate veal stock, I’ve added some beef stock and sweet vermouth to chicken broth. I’d argue that the stock is the best part of French Onion soup. The onions are kinda awkward to eat, as is the cheese. I know – you LOVE the cheese. Still, would French Onion Soup still be okay with chicken or vegetable stock? This deep, rich, slightly sweet, complex flavor is infused in the rice which is cooked risotto style.
For the rice, I’m using sort of risotto technique to act as a thickener in place of any dairy. Arborio rice is usually used for risotto but I’m using Wild Rice. I didn’t really want this to be too thick but I did want to ‘risottofy’ the rice a bit to release the starches from the grains. As you’re cooking the rice for, stirring often for about 45 minutes, keep a side pot of 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup beef stock on a low simmer. Add a 1/4 cup at a time to the rice if needed.
While the rice is cooking you should have the onions caramelizing. Just slice some onions and let them simmer with a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large stock pot for about 45-60 minutes stirring occasionally. Some people suggest adding some sugar to the onions to speed up the process. And that’s all I have to say about that.
So we’ve got a big pot of onions caramelizing on our back burner which doesn’t need much attention. We have a medium pot of rice on our front burner which we’re stirring at least every five minutes if not constantly. Simple stuff. It gets better. Preheat your oven to 375°F and grab a small roasting pan or sheet pan with a high rim. Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and place a couple seasoned split chicken breasts skin side down. Add about a pound of quartered mushrooms and a head of garlic (cloves peeled). Add a dash of salt and pepper and drizzle a couple teaspoons of vermouth over top. Throw that in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches 155°F. Remove the pan from the oven and shred the chicken when it gets cool enough to handle.
Now it’s time to bring this all together. Once the onions are caramelized add the mushrooms, garlic, the drippings from the roasting pan, a 1/4 chopped parsley to the stock pot and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add any left over broth from your rice side pot and a cup of chicken broth and let this come to a simmer. Stir in the rice and chicken then add 8 cups of water and simmer for 15 minutes. Soups on!!
Like I said, this does take a bit of attention but I think this recipe is a good example of what makes cooking fun. The ingredients are all very basic but when you prepare them in certain ways then blend them together, you get something exceptionally delicious. Like French Onion Soup, this broth is rich and hearty. There’s absolutely zero dairy but we’re getting a lot of flavor and body. The starch released from the rice along with chicken fat, olive oil, beef broth and vermouth all contribute to a well balanced soup.
French Onion Chicken Rice Soup - Dairy Free
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup sweet vermouth
- 2 bone-in chicken breast
- 1 lbs. mushrooms quartered
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 1 tbs. vermouth
- salt and pepper
Side Pot for Rice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup parsley
- Thinly slice 2 medium or 4 small onions and add to a a large stock pot with 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat.
- Simmer stirring occasionally for 45 minutes or until onions are browned and caramelized.
- Add 1 cup wild rice, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups beef stock, and 1/4 cup vermouth to a medium pot. Heat on medium low stirring often for about 45-50 minutes or until nearly tender.
- In a side pot, heat 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup beef stock. Keep on stand by as rice begins to dry out. Add 1/4 cup at a time if needed to keep rice cooking until nearly tender.
Roast Chicken, Mushrooms, and Garlic
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Chop the top and bottom off a head of garlic and remove the skins from each clove. Quarter small mushrooms. Chop two chicken breasts in half leaving skin and bones, salt and pepper both sides.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting pan. Add chicken breasts skin side down, garlic and mushrooms to pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of sweet vermouth.
- Roast for 25-30 minutes until chicken reaches 155°F.
- Allow chicken to cool, remove skin and bones and shred in to bite size pieces.
- Reserve chicken, mushrooms, garlic and all pan juices for soup.
- As the caramelized onions are finishing, add the mushrooms, garlic, pan juices, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Cook for 10 minutes. Add any left over broth from the side pot and 1 cup chicken broth. Stir and bring to a simmer. Add rice, chicken and 8 cups of water and simmer for 15 minutes.
Which Crocks should I get for French Onion Soup??
Soup Crock without Handle http://amzn.to/2iRNNNL
Soup Crock with Handle http://amzn.to/2z2b4Fz
Staub Cocotte http://amzn.to/2AdNmob
Le Creuset Cocotte http://amzn.to/2BAW6ZL
Red Ramekins http://amzn.to/2AeYMYJ
White Ramekins http://amzn.to/2Af2EsR