Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup

My dad called and said, “I boiled down five chicken carcasses and can’t fit all the broth in my freezer. Would you like some?” The answer: “YES!” I wasn’t too sure I had the ingredients to do anything with it, and I’m too sick to go out. But, I went scrounging in the freezer, refrigerator and pantry to make something edible. It actually turned out great! Since chicken soup is the most tasty cure for a cold that I know of, I hope it helps you out as well.

NTNT’s Chicken and Rice Soup

The cure for the common cold

I'm no food photographer; this tastes way better than I made it look.

-2 quarts homemade chicken broth, if you want it to taste good. I’m serious, the store stuff doesn’t come close.

-1/2 c rice (I like brown best, it stays firmer in soup)

-2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

-1 Tbsp butter or oil

-wine – I used Zinfandel, which was delicious but turned my chicken purple

-1-3 onions, depending on how many you have and how much you like onion

-1/3 lb carrots cut into “coins.”

-2 stalks celery, chopped

-other vegetables you have lurking around; I used a half-bag of baby spinach that was starting to wilt.

-Kosher salt, pepper, sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary and celery seeds, to taste. I dump things in a tsp at a time and then taste.

Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add rice and boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. In a pan, sauté onions and carrots in oil or butter until soft, but not brown. Add to broth. Sauté chicken, adding 1/4 cup wine or so to keep it from sticking to the pan (and to make it delicious). Pour yourself a glass while you’re at it, (provided it is good wine), to enhance the cooking experience. Cook chicken until almost cooked through, then add to broth with the celery. Simmer for 20 minutes or so until chicken is completely cooked. Season to taste with what you have on hand. Adding lemon is also an excellent idea. I particularly like sage and thyme, but have also been known to add garam masala. If you are adding vegetables such as peas or spinach, add them 5-10 minutes before serving so they don’t look colorless and disgusting by the time you plan to eat. Crusty french bread is an exceptional accompaniment.

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