In honor of the cooler weather we've had (It's only a high of 96 degrees today as opposed to 106, yay!) I decided to make some soup. Hubby loves him some soup. When we were first married, and for awhile afterwards, he would buy cans of soup as if we were preparing for a hurricane. (It's what we do in the South. That and pray.) He wasn't too particular of the type, just something with meat and a starch. Since I cook a lot more and there is usually fresh food waiting in the fridge, he doesn't often eat soup anymore. (That and the fact that I do the grocery shopping and don't buy him canned soup.) I wanted to make something for him that I hoped he would enjoy. Also, Bambino tends to prefer softer foods to eat (And it makes eating meals faster!) so I thought I'd get the blue jay and the robin with just one stone.
Initially I found a recipe for chicken and wild rice soup in a Martha Stewart cookbook, but felt the recipe was a little too simple and lacked flavor. I scoured internet and found a recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website. I've visited her site occasionally, but never cooked any of her dishes. I have yet to form an opinion on her. I've heard many people rave about her blog, but from researching her blog I feel that were as opposed as city mouse and country mouse, literally. I will admit, some of her cowgirl foods look appetizing and she is going to star in her own show on the Food Network, so she must be somewhat good? So I decided to give the recipe a try.
What I learned about this recipe is to not work with meats that still have the skin and bone on it. The smell of a chicken boiling in water was not the most appetizing of smells for me. I was actually surprised by this. I work with chicken breasts all the time, but something about the breast having the bone and skin on it irked me out a bit. And then cutting the meat off of the bone after it was cooked also freaked me out. I'm not sure why, but it did.
I'm not sure if Hubby liked it. He did consume an entire bowl, but commented on how good the accompanied ciabatta bread tasted. I packed the leftovers it in his lunch the next day and the container came home empty, so I'm assuming he did eat it? Bambino really liked it. She had a heaping bowl full and ate it quickly. If you like chicken soup, then this one is up your ally because it has all the basics and it is from the fancy shmancy Pioneer Woman.
1 cup white rice + 2 cups water
2 whole chicken breasts with bone and skin
6 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth (TPW calls for 8 cups water and bouillon cubes, but I chose a water-vegetable broth combo instead)
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
6 Tablespoons olive oil
6 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook rice. Add 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer.
2. Wash two whole chicken breasts (skin, bones and all) and place them in a pot, cover with 6 cups of water and 2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is done, about twenty to thirty minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool for a few minutes. (Reserve broth!) Cut all the meat from the bones and chop into bite size pieces. This was the step I didn't care for.
3. While chicken is boiling, cut up onion, bell pepper, carrot and corn.
4. Once chicken is cooked and chopped up, in a skillet cook the olive oil at medium high heat. Once heated, add the flour. It should become thick. If it is still liquidy, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Drop mixture into broth.
5. Using the same skillet (that maybe you washed?) add onions, bell pepper, carrot and corn and saute. Add in chicken. Add in paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add meat and vegetable chicken to broth. Add in cooked rice. Add in turmeric powder. (TPW said to add food coloring, but I was vehemently against that. In the review someone mentioned turmeric powder and I was all for it.) Bring to a boil then let simmer for 20 minutes with the top off.
7. Cool and serve.
Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 5
There were a lot of different steps to this dish, which gives it a five. Working with bone and skin on a protein is new to me, which upped the score as well.
I don't think I'll be making this dish again, at least not with chicken that has skin and bone on it. I did not like the smell of the broth (Although the smell of store bought chicken broth doesn't bother me.) or digging into the breast pulling out the meat. The dish made PLENTY of soup, we still have two containers in the freezer. So for now, there's enough to last for awhile.