Friday, September 9, 2011

Chicken with Wild Rice Soup

This week the weather is significantly cooler.  Thank goodness!  I don't mind the heat, but we've had a REALLY hot summer and 70 degree weather is a Godsend.  With the cooler weather, I was inspired to make soup.  Of course I couldn't just make any soup.  I made chicken with wild rice. 

For over half of my nearly 40 years, I didn't care for soup.  It was ok, but I would have much rather had a sandwich.  All that ended when I took a job at a local mall in college.  The smell of soup and freshly baked bread drifting down the center of the mall was intoxicating.  I became hooked on St. Louis Bread Company's (now Panera) chicken with wild rice soup.  I shudder to think of how much money I spent purchasing the "You Pick 2" special.  I tried two or three times to replicate the soup and finally gave up as the ingredients were expensive.

One day last year I happened upon this recipe.  It seemed like it might be a possibility.  It had things in it that I already had around the house or could pick up easily at the store so I gave it a whirl.  It was good-not as good as my beloved St. Louis Bread soup, but I decided that I could've built that up in my mind (it happens a lot to me).

This was before my "health kick," as my Mom affectionately calls it.  Pulling out the recipe the other day, I realized that I would have to make some alterations.  Here's what I ended up with.

4Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
3 cups milk, divided
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 cup wild rice
3 cups of chicken broth (more if needed)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 very large chicken breast, cooked and diced

Begin by melting the butter in a medium saucepan.  Once butter is melted, add the flour and whisk it in allowing it to cook down for a few minutes (5 or so).  Add the salt and 2 cups of milk whisking vigorously to get rid of any lumps.  Allow to simmer until thickened, making a roux.  While that is thickening, prepare the veggies and throw them into the crockpot.  Add the rice, roux, 3 cups of chicken broth, pepper, and chicken pieces.  Stir thoroughly and cover.  Set crockpot on low and cook 7-8 hours.  I checked it every couple of hours and stirred it.  If the rice is taking too much liquid, you may need to add more chicken broth.  With about 30 minutes left before serving, add the remaining cup of milk and allow it to heat through.  You could use half-n-half here and it would make it creamier, but I didn't want to buy half-n-half.  It seems that when I do, it always goes bad or I'm scrambling around the day it expires looking for a way to use it.  The milk worked fine.

This amount fed the 5 of us dinner, our neighbor who recently had surgery, lunch for Hubby and the girls the next day and 3 breakfast portions for the girls before school.  I had grand notions of taking a beautiful picture to share, but when I got the bowl out of the fridge, this is what I found.  Sorry it isn't glamorous.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...