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Panade: Rustic Bread Casserole with Chicken and Caramelized Onions
Like many rustic or peasant dishes, a panade is highly flexible. You can combine nearly any vegetables and meat you have on hand with stale bread and broth to create a delicious casserole with an airy, soufflé-like texture. This is a great way to make the most of what you have on hand.
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This is a great leftover when re-heated for lunch the next day.
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 1/2 lb. sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced (8 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
- 1 Artisan Fresh™ Baguette, cut into 1” cubes and well dried out in the oven or overnight on the counter
- 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cup(s) cooked chicken, ham or cooked Italian sausage
- 5 cup(s) chicken or vegetable broth, simmering hot
- 2 cup(s) shredded Fontina, Swiss or jack cheese
- 1/2 cup(s) Parmesan cheese
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy 10- to 14-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf and herbs. Stir to mix. Cover well and cook about 45 minutes or until onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Uncover and continue to cook until most of the liquid evaporates and the onions are golden (not brown)—about 10 minutes. (The onions will be the texture of marmalade). Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a 3-quart Dutch oven or baking dish with a lid, layer the panade this way: start with a generous smear of onions, followed by a layer of bread cubes, a second layer of onions, a layer of sliced tomatoes, half of the chicken meat and half of the combined cheeses. Add a second layer of bread cubes and press down firmly to settle things together.
- Repeat layers with onions, tomatoes, chicken and cheese plus a final layer of bread cubes.
- Add the hot chicken or vegetable broth slowly, starting around the edge of the dish, until the broth reaches one inch below the rim or you run out.
- Cover the dish with the lid or foil and bake about 45 to 60 minutes or until the panade is bubbly and slightly browned around the edges.
- Uncover the panade, increase oven heat to 375°F and continue baking about 10 to 20 more minutes or until panade springs back when pressed and is golden brown on top. Let cool and set at least 10 minutes before scooping out to serve.