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Beef stock VS. Chicken stock French onion soup [moved from Prairie Provinces]

KitchenBella Mar 25, 2014 06:32 AM

I usually use homemade beef stock in my onion soup, however many recipes use chicken stock or a combo. Opinions?

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    Scary Bill RE: KitchenBella Mar 25, 2014 06:52 AM

    That would be called onion soup, but certainly not classic French onion soup. Just sounds wrong to me, especially as red wine of some sort is also a necessary ingredient. Maybe chicken stock with a fino sherry would be ok, but again, not classic.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Scary Bill
      KitchenBella RE: Scary Bill Mar 25, 2014 07:01 AM

      What in your definition is "classic?"

      1. re: KitchenBella
        Scary Bill RE: KitchenBella Mar 26, 2014 09:06 AM

        Includes beef stock from roasted marrow bones and beef scraps, red wine plain or fortified, Gruyere and thyme, among the other ingredients.

        1. re: Scary Bill
          KitchenBella RE: Scary Bill Mar 26, 2014 11:39 AM

          That's how I make it, but I travel a lot being a flight attendant and it's amazing how many restaurants serve it with chicken broth and claim it to be "French onion soup!" Wasn't sure if I was missing something...

          1. re: KitchenBella
            Scary Bill RE: KitchenBella Mar 26, 2014 02:54 PM

            KB, I searched for FOS recipes using chicken stock and was surprised to find so many, with many calling it FOS. OS, yes, FOS, no.

            Perhaps the next time you layover in Paris you can continue your research. I will be there in September to conduct my own research!

            1. re: Scary Bill
              cowboyardee RE: Scary Bill Mar 26, 2014 03:04 PM

              Likely, part of the issue is that most recipes don't require that people make their own stock. If you're buying canned, neither beef nor chicken 'stock' will make an especially good, traditional FOS. But canned chicken 'stock' is generally less crapular and off-putting than canned beef 'stock,' so recipe writers may be settling for the lesser of two evils in calling for chicken stock. If you're accepting storebought canned stock in the first place, then there's not much point of holding out for beef over chicken on tradition/authenticity grounds. Cause either way, what you're making ain't traditional.

    2. cowboyardee RE: KitchenBella Mar 25, 2014 08:42 AM

      If you make your own *dark* chicken stock from browned, roasted bones, the difference is minimal. A lot of the flavor you associate with beef stock really just comes from the roasting step. Of course, it's cheaper/easier to get chicken bones than beef bones. The beef adds a bit of its own thing, but not enough that you should hold off on making French onion soup for lack of beef stock when there's plenty of chicken bones available. You might even prefer the dark chicken stock anyway.

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