Feel Better Chicken & Rice Soup

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The other day I was feeling pretty crummy. I had sinus pressure, runny nose, cough, and sore throat, topped with a monster headache. I still had to function as a parent, so no lying around on the couch for me! And because there wasn’t much in the house to eat, I was thrilled to realize I had everything I needed to make chicken soup- the perfect restorative meal when ill, in my humble opinion, and not too difficult at all! Plus, it’s a one-pot meal, so it’s easy peasy.

I had no noodles, so used rice, and no lemon juice so alas, I used orange! The result of whisking in egg yolks with oj, into the soup was a rich, creamy texture. The addition of ginger, and lots of fresh garlic added to the health benefits- hello, natural antibacterial.

Without further ado, my delicious chicken and rice soup. Make it next time you feel a bug coming on, or serve it to someone you love. I’m embarrassed to admit how many bowls (not cups!) I ate immediately when it was done. You would judge me… but trust me, it is that good.

Chicken & Rice Soup Ingredients:

-1 package of quality chicken tenders, or about 3 breasts

-3 to 4 cups of water or chicken stock, plus more later

-1/2 c. good white wine

-2 tbsp. butter (I like salted sweet cream)

-1 cup of chopped/sliced leeks, rinsed first and patted dry. If you like substitute onions and use olive oil.

-spices: 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, ground ginger, and paprika

-3 large garlic cloves, minced

-2 large carrots, diced or sliced in rounds, abput 1 cup

-2 to 3 celery stalks, diced to about 1 cup

-2 cups of white rice, NOT instant

-1/3 c. orange juice

-2 egg yolks, room temperature

-Salt and pepper to taste

1. First poach the chicken in the water. You are basically cooking the chicken while at the same time making homemade broth. You could also just use chicken broth for added flavor. Bring to simmer in a Dutch oven or large pot, and cover about 10 minutes, or until chicken cooked through, about 165 degrees. Remove chicken and carefully pour broth into a bowl, set both aside. When chicken cools, pull apart with a fork or chop coursely.

2. In now empty pot, heat butter until warm, add carrots, celery. Because they are harder, they will cook longer than leeks. However, if using onions, add those right away with celery/carrots. Cook on medium/med high heat for about 10 minutes, or semi soft. Add leeks and garlic stirring often, taking care not to brown.

3. Add the curry, ginger, and paprika. Stir. The spices should be kind of sticky/clumpy. Add the rice to toast slighly. Cook about 5 minutes. Pour the wine in to deglaze the pot. Stir well.

4. Add back all the broth and the chicken to the veg/rice mix and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer on medium low (so just barely bubbling) for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. You may need more water as the rice absorbs the liquid.

5. Whisk the oj and egg yolks together in a large measuring cup, or bowl. Then very slowly pour about a cup of soup broth into cup, whisking briskly. Got that? Pour slow, whisk fast. You want to temper the yolks so they don’t curdle when you add to soup pot. Add it all back. A note- I can’t guarantee your eggs won’t curdle slightly, mine did not. But, even if they DO, it will still be amazeballs. Season with a dash more salt and pepper if desired. Serve hot, room temp, or even cold. Enjoy!

Tweak it:

-Substitute sweet potatoes instead of carrots, and double the curry powder, and use fresh ginger instead of ground. Serve with naan.

-Change out the rice for Amish egg noodles, and the oj for lemon juice. Add basil, sage, and rosemary.

-Halve the liquid, or just enough to cook the rice properly so it’s a thicker consistency. Then add all to a buttered casserole dish, and top with panko and fresh parsley. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until panko is browned.

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Enjoy!

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