Eating Local for Urban Families. Gluten-free and Dairy-free, too!

Thursday, October 4

Chicken Soup with Rice

The first night after the Eat Local Challenge was over, I got a nasty cold. I was achy and cranky and not up to cooking.

So I ordered take out. Thai Food from Thai Ginger, one of the best-loved Thai places in North Portland.

And, it was…salty. That’s what I noticed first. The vegetables were quite cooked and salty. But then the Pad Thai was super sweet and oily. Before I could bring it up Clara noticed, too. “Salty,” she said, with a bit of surprise. (She’s getting a very keen palette, that one, though it doesn’t often seem to be working in my favor.)

After a month of eating food that was either my own local “good grub” or fancy Northwest Palette, this food that is usually one of my favorites seemed really foreign and off.

But I appreciated the leftover white rice the next night when I made chicken soup. I’d roasted a whole chicken over the weekend to carry though the week, something I’ve been doing often. The only problem I’ve found is that these organic chickens I’m buying barely have enough meat for two meals. I need to find some local farmer with fat chickens.

lemon thyme (I really love this photo)

Hopefully, enough rosemary

These are yet two new additions to my herb garden. I’ve been blowing through the rosemary so fast my little plant was about down to stumps and I was going to have to start wandering the neighborhood with scissors. I fell in love with the lemon thyme in the garden of or cabin on Orcas Island. Both go great stuffed under the skin of roasting chicken.

Anyhow, we had leftover chicken and this white rice and I had a container of frozen stock I’d made previously thawing in the fridge. After we eat all the meat off the carcass I make stock and freeze it, then bring it out as we finish the next roasted chicken to make soup.

I’ve included measurements in this to give you a place to start, but they’re all approximate and totally open to adaptation. This is one of those dishes you can tailor to whatever you’ve got in the pantry, which is pretty much how we roll, if you hadn’t noticed. Edited to add: My friend, Leah, pointed out that celery is always a good addition to chicken soup and I totally agree. In fact, I prefer it with celery. I just haven't accepted that I have to start buying Cali-grown veggies yet.

This soup was a bit thick since I had relatively little liquid and the rice with potatoes made it starchy, but I liked the heartiness. The tarragon was a nice change of pace, though the next day I had the leftover for lunch and the nutty, garlic flavor had intensified significantly.

There is just no way to make roasted chicken look good in photos.

Chicken Soup with Rice

2 - 4 cups of chicken stock, depending on how thick you want your soup
about 2 cups of chopped roasted chicken (or ½ cup per serving)
2 – 3 carrots, chopped
3 – 4 potatoes, cubed
½ cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or chopped
1 tsp. dried tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked rice; white, wild or brown, depending on taste

That's the rice. And veggies, of course.

The Knob Creek is my "cough medine." Add hot water to a shot for a soothing nightcap.

1. Heat the stock in a sauce pan on medium heat until just steaming. Add garlic and onion and let warm for a few minutes.

2. Add carrots and potatoes and let simmer, covered, for 5 – 8 minutes, until just tender.

3. Add chicken and tarragon, then salt and pepper to taste and stir. Next add the cooked rice. Simmer 5 – 15 minutes until flavors meld to desired taste.



Kaleigh said...

Too funny...I've got a chicken soup that I'm posting this weekend! Looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Kat, I'm glad to see the Knob Creek is being enjoyed... :)

I highly recommend adding celery to your soups (at least the broth) too--it's easy to find locally, and stores for a long time in the fridge. This time of year I try to make sure my fridge is stocked with good soup ingredients and celery is one of them.

Love the blog!

Katherine Gray said...

Leah, it's so funny that you mention the celery b/c I actually had a note in there that I prefer chicken soup with celery but I didn't have any on hand. Not sure now why I cut it--that's what I get for writing late at night. Next time I'll trust my first instinct.

I'll go add that back right now...