Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chicken Soup with Rice Recipe

Our local weatherman told me all the states had at least one city under freezing temperatures this morning. How crazy is that? I saw all those poor people in New York suffering from “lake effect snow.” What even is that?!?

Some people from Texas have never even seen snow, let alone 60 inches of the fluffy stuff. I can’t imagine waking up and finding your car buried in snow. It looks like a fun day off but for those living (or trapped) in such conditions… I will try not to complain too much when I have to cover my plants because we might experience “up to 5 hours of freezing temperatures.” And for you, I will give my incredibly warm and filling chicken soup with rice recipe.
Super simple ingredients. The scallions came from my tiny potted herb garden. I didn't have any cilantro but the parsley looked pretty so I put it there. The ginger from my grocery store was super fresh and beautiful so I bought a bunch.
Yes I cut my carrots into these adorable flower shapes because I like turning all culinary occasions into ones where I can use my vegetable cutters. Feel free to dice your vegetables in any way, no need to join me in the crazy kitchen.
I learned it from my mom (the best cook in the world). She never uses recipes so a lot of it is “to taste.” I learned how to bake first and I love the precision of a fine scale. So, when I was learning how to make heartier, savory meals, it drove me insane to see “a dash of salt” or “season to taste.” I needed to know exactly what went into every dish. Nowadays, my philosophy is quite lax, mainly because I hate to look up from my cooking and decipher instructions.


Here is my recipe. Make it your own. You should make a large quantity and refrigerate it. It warms up nicely in the microwave. Just as the little boy in Maurice Sendak's poem, "Chicken Soup with Rice" says, it really is perfect for all seasons. As a child, I always imagined he was having the same soup my mom made so I understood perfectly why he would want it every month. You should have this in all weather, and especially when you are buried under 6 feet of snow. 

Look at that gorgeous bright yellow ginger. I always save a bit of chicken for Chantecaille. His favorite food is boiled or steamed chicken breast.
Chicken Soup with Rice Recipe

Ingredients (For about 6 servings)

2 Large Chicken Breasts (with bones)
3 Qt Water
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped ( I like big, 2 inch pieces, but small is fine too)
2 Large Carrots Chopped
2 to 4 Inch Ginger Root  Sliced into 1/4" slices + extra sliced or diced as topping
½ Cup Jasmine Rice Grains
Scallions
Cilantro
Salt
Pepper

Instructions

1. Make the chicken stock. Wash chicken breasts and pat dry. Make cuts in thicker sections of meat so it cooks more quickly

2. Bring water to boil. Add chicken breasts, chopped onions and ginger (at this point, you can also add carrots to make your stock a bit sweeter but I add them later so they don’t become super mushy. If you want to add them, cut your carrots into 2 inch batons and fish them out before adding the rice and shredded chicken)

3. Turn heat to medium-high. Season lightly with salt. Don’t go crazy with the salt until you are near the end. The flavor will change when you add the other ingredients so if its perfectly salted now, the end product will be too salty. Skim off the bubbles that float at the top (not totally necessary but my mom made us do it).

4. When the chicken breasts are cooked (165 degrees F), take them out and let them cool slightly. Lower the heat on the stock to medium. I add the carrot pieces here.

5. Let the stock gently simmer and shred the chicken with a fork.

6. Add rice grains to simmering soup stock. Stir frequently to avoid rice from sticking to the bottom. When the grains are nearly al dente, add shredded chicken in with the stock.

7. At this point, feel free to add extra ginger.

8. The soup is done when the rice finishes cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Add finishing touches such as chopped scallions and cilantro. And lots of black pepper. 

9. Enjoy!
My brother bought me this adorable bowl. It makes all soup taste a hundred times better.
Look at those adorable carrot flowers! Totally worth the effort!


Warm wishes!