I haven’t really left the house since Monday when we were supposed to have a three days of world ending ice and snow. I went out Monday morning after deciding that I’d better be safe than sorry and came back with four gallons of water and canned chili (which we could eat in the event the power went out and I couldn’t use the stove). I also filled the bathtub with water so we’d have something to flush the toilets with in case of the water going out too. Suffice it to say, we did not lose power or water and the whole storm pretty much consisted of two days worth of hype. Lame! I have a survival candle and a crank powered radio/flashlight and everything!
I have two pieces of commentary about the storm. One, I can’t stand the media hype surrounding these things. I realize that it’s important to be safe, but seriously, since the media is never right, why to they keep pretending like this is the time that their predictions will come true? I’m fairly certain that when they are correct it is simply by accident. And two, everyone bitches and moans about oncoming storms and how awful it will be, but we all know that everyone loves a good storm and we all want to see piles and piles of snow. The evidence of this is the amount of bitching and moaning that happens when the storm doesn’t happen. Case in point, re-read the first two paragraphs.
In any case, the storm (even though it was a wussy storm) meant that I haven’t left the house much in the last few days. I went running this morning and came back with ice on my beard and eyebrows, so I’m content to stay inside. I’m set for bread as always, but since I have to eat something other than bread, full meals are a bit harder to put together. Eventually I’m going to have to go out in the cold to go shopping of course. But until then I’m making stuff with what I’ve got. In this case, Chicken Rice Soup!
This falls into the comfort food category but when the mercury drops like it has the last few days I’m all about the comfort food. Some recipes call for essentially making stock on the fly by cooking a whole chicken while you’re making the soup. I have a freezer full of chicken stock, so used a couple of quarts of that, along with some water added throughout the process. Simple, hot, delicious!
Chicken Rice Soup Recipe
4 quarts of chickens stock
2-3 raw chicken breasts (see note below)
4 carrots, chopped into 1/4 inch slices
4 stalks of celery, chopped into 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, rough chopped
1 cup of dry rice
1 handful of parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, to taste (see note below)
Black peppar to taste
1+ quart of water additional depending on consistency (see note below)
Put all of the ingredients in a five or six quart dutch oven or stock pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered, stirring occasionally. Remove the the chicken breasts after an hour or so (or when they are cooked through). When they are cool enough to handle, shred the breasts into rough pieces with two forks, then add back into the soup. Simmer for five to ten minutes longer or soup can be kept on low until ready to serve.
You can use any amount of chicken you’d like here. I prefer more rice, less chicken but that’s just me. You can also use pre-cooked chicken or leftovers, just add them after the vegetables are cooked, about 45 minutes, and then keep the soup at a simmer until the chicken is warm. White or dark meat or a mixture is fine here.
My chicken stock contains no salt, and so I generally have to use quite a bit of salt. Store bought stock, even low sodium versions, tend to be much more salty, so be careful with adding additional salt when using it.
Keep an eye on your soup while cooking. Depending on the type of rice you are using and how chunky you want your soup to be you may need to add water or more stock as you simmer.