Winner, winner, week full of chicken dinners! That is to say, I’m deeming it chicken week here on IGE!
Chicken is one of the most popular proteins served each night in households across America (‘Merica! Sorry.) But let’s face it – although it’s lean, filling, and versatile, it’s really easy to get stuck in the same ho-hum routine of sauteing a seasoned chicken breast then serving it alongside a starch and veg and calling it dinner two nights a week.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m totally guilty too! My go to dinner on days Ben and I aren’t dining on blog food is garlic salt & pepper sauteed chicken breasts served with roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes, and an apple. Always that. No deviation. Ben says its his favorite. I can’t say I disagree – like I always say, it’s the simple things in life – but it’s also nice to have a few new chicken recipes in your repertoire, which is what I hope to give you this week.
Up first, Cheesy Chicken & Rice Soup’s brother from a less-cheesy mother, Chicken & Wild Rice Soup!
Chicken & Wild Rice Soup – plump and hearty wild rice mingling with shredded chicken and veggies in a rich, savory broth – is one of my most favorite soups. Ever! Ben is, well, he’s ready to part ways with soup for the winter (oops) but even he perks up when I make a big batch of this stuff. It’s that yummy, thick, and creamy – yet has no cream at all.
I developed the recipe for a freelance project I was working on several months ago, and have made it a handful of times since then because we love it so much. It was finally published, so I finally get to share the recipe with you – just in time for Chicken Week – whee!
Start by sauteing 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 1 large shallot (or 1/2 an onion) in 2 Tablespoons butter over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Then add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and saute for 1 more minute.
Next add 8 cups chicken broth. Sounds like a LOT, I know, but a lot of the broth will be absorbed by the hearty wild rice we’ll add in a bit!
Bring the broth to a boil, then drop in 2 chicken breasts cut in half. Let the chicken cook right in the broth for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then remove and shred when cool.
This soup would actually be great to use leftover or rotisserie chicken in. Thigh meat, chicken tenders, etc, too. Whatever you’ve got on hand works!
Now add 3/4 cup wild rice blend. I think this is why Ben loves this soup so much – both he and I are ga-ga for wild rice (there are worse things, right?)
Here’s the brand I used, which I found in the health food section at HyVee. Whatever the brand, be sure to buy a wild rice BLEND and not just straight up wild rice. The brown rice in the blend gives the soup a great, chewy texture, whereas the wild rice is a bit heartier and, well, stiff?, for lack of a better word.
K! Pop a lid on the soup pot, turn the heat down to medium-low, then simmer for 40-50 minutes or until the rice is plump and chewy. When the rice is ready, stir together 1/4 cup each flour and milk (whatever you’ve got in the house) until smooth.
Mix it with 3/4 cup more milk (for 1 cup total) then slowly stream it into the soup while stirring. This will give the soup a lovely, creamy and thick texture.
Add the shredded chicken back in…
Then let the soup simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
Ladle into big bowls then serve with a side salad or fresh fruit and enjoy!
Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion or 1 large shallot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
8 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
3/4 cup wild/brown rice blend
1 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
- Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, season with salt & pepper, then saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme then saute for 1 more minute.
- Add chicken broth then increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add chicken breast halves and cook until no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside. Shred when cool enough to handle. Add wild/brown rice blend to the pot then place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until rice is tender.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with flour until smooth then add remaining milk. Slowly drizzle into soup while stirring. Add chicken then simmer soup for 10 more minutes uncovered and serve.
This is a second and thirds type soup, I’m telling ya’! Low in fat yet super filling and satisfying, soup lovers and meh’ers alike will love it. Leftovers are just as delish, and make for quick and easy lunches all week. Enjoy this one, guys!