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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Yesterday, I was craving wild rice for some reason. I don't even LIKE wild rice unless it's made by someone who knows what they are doing. Over the years, I've learn a little about cooking, so I decided to give it a try. I bought some locally grown organic wild rice from the Good Earth Food Co-op, and then:

- Using 6 cups of previously made Chicken broth/stock (If you don't have any and are short on time, take a few chicken thighs - or your favorite piece or even the whole chicken - and put it in a pot with your favorite seasonings and 6 or more cups of water to simmer for at least a half an hour. If you are planning ahead, slow cook a whole chicken along with your favorite seasonings in a crock pot or roaster oven with as much water as you can fit :-) If you're REALLY planning ahead: de-meat the bones as soon as it's cooked and then let the bones simmer overnight! Note: CHECK YOUR SEASONINGS! The key to good broth is good seasonings and plenty of salt! I recommend onion, garlic, cilantro, and a hint of black pepper.)

- Simmer 2 cups of wild rice in the 6 cups of broth. I actually had about 1 and 3/4ths of a cup of wild rice. In any case, when the rice is fully cooked, there should be a little liquid left. If not, add more :-D I cooked my rice al dente, but that's because I'm not sure if wild rice CAN cook until it is soft and tender, lol! I've never really worked with it before. Go with the consistency that you prefer. It took me between 20 and 30 minutes of boiling over medium heat.

- When the rice is the right consistency, set it on a different burner - which is off - and let it sit while you grab a pan and a stick of butter. Slice half the stick of butter into the pan and let melt over low while you add onions and mushrooms to it. If you like to use more butter, use more. If you prefer less, use less. I cut up a little less than half an onion and four fairly big crimini mushrooms. I wanted them to be an accent, and could have totally used more :-) Saute over medium until the onions are tender and the mushrooms shrink a little. Also, it doesn't hurt if they brown slightly :-)

- Taking the chicken meat from the thighs you used to make the broth - which have hopefully cooled! - use your fingers to sort of shred the meat into the pot with the rice. If you didn't use a big enough pot to begin with, now is the best time to grab a bigger one, heh heh...

- Add the sauteed onions and mushrooms to the pot and stir to mix everything together.

- Add several generous dollops of sour cream. Stir together until the whole shebang is nice and creamy. At this point, you'll have something like a stew. Just a little bit of liquid to complement the solids. If you like a more liquidy soup, add more broth and cream. Otherwise serve and eat :-)

My boys are sort of half picky eaters. They know that they have to eat what I make or go without in most cases, but they will totally complain if they don't like something. For example, Gryffin hates mushrooms and usually picks them out... unless he's in the rare mood to eat them. Phoenix will often go without if he really doesn't like something.

My point is this: My boys tell me honestly what they think of my cooking. Tonight, Gryffin comes up to me and says: "Ask me what I think of dinner!"
"What did you think of dinner?"
"It was really good!" He informs me with a smile.
"Yep!" Phoenix agrees. "Really good!"
Meanwhile, hubby is bringing his bowl into the kitchen having finished eating too. He belches loudly and then chuckles. "Good dinner honey, pretty tasty."
I'm still savoring my last couple of bites, so I simply smile and mumble "Thanks."

I actually agree with them :-) I thought tonight's dinner was pretty darn good too, and so decided to share it with y'all. If you make this, let me know what you think.
Have a happy day, night, whatever!

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