Day 23: Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Cadillac of casseroles. Comprised of just a few, easy-to-prepare ingredients, this one will leave you smiling. If you’re having a bad day, this is a really good comfort food and it’s very filling.

   
 A helpful hint when preparing this one is to add double the cheese, of course, but also to use a glass baking dish to cook your chicken so that you can re-use it to bake the casserole. I’m 99% sure that my family motto would be “less dishes is always best.”The other 1% of me believes it may be,”if it can get spilled, it will.” 

  

  
 Adding the dry white wine is definately a good call, and you can get a bottle for $9-10 CAD and use it in the French onion soup, too. 

Here’s the link: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/chicken/chicken-and-wild-rice-casserole/

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Day 22: French Onion Soup

There are a couple of ways to cook French onion soup, including in a crock pot, but I chose to go with the classic route. I had to change up the method a little because I don’t have a Dutch oven, so I ended up using a large stock pot. The only disadvantage of this is that it was it’s hard to caramalize that many onions in a stockpot: your biceps would be burning from churning what feels like 10 lbs of onions all at once (plus,  there’s no guarantee you won’t burn or under cook the onions that way). I started out trying that method, only to learn those things, and finally decided to use a frying pan to cook the onions, a few handfuls at a time. As I caramalized each bunch of onions, I tossed them into the stockpot with the lid on in order to keep them warm. It took around 30 minutes to cook all the onions, which is less time than the recipe said it would take in the Dutch oven, but I did have my pan on very high heat and had to continuously stir my onions. Good news is,  it’s a hell of a workout. 

   
 
My coworker, who kindly informed me that I don’t reek of onions (although, it’s all I smell now), also told me that she removes all coats lying around the kitchen before she cooks with onions. She’s a smart lady. I still swear I smell onions everywhere, and I may never eat another onion again. 

   
   
Instead of baguettes for the soup topping, I used Texas toast croutons and herb and garlic mozzarella. It was awesome and so much less messy than cutting up bread.

This soup is definately amazing and I would recommend it. However, use only 4 or 5 onions and put 2 extra cups of beef broth in. Otherwise, it’s just too much onion to broth. 

Good luck!

Here’s the recipe: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/classic-french-onion-soup/

Oh, and just in case you were wondering the importance of bay leaves, here’s a link to a very informative website: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/03/ask-the-food-lab-whats-the-point-of-bay-leaves.html