You don't have to use wild rice for this recipe, although it gives a really nice texture. White or brown will certainly work in a pinch. See the step by step photos for cooking adjustments for white or brown rice.
If you don't like creamy soups (this one isn't super creamy), you can skip the milk mixture at the end of the recipe and use chicken broth instead. Then you'll have yourself a delicious, clear broth chicken and rice soup. You've got options!
I also used the carrots and celery that I had left over from this recipe a couple of weeks ago. I just cleaned and sliced the entire bunch then froze half to use later. I was happy not to have to peel and chop today!
Total Recipe cost: $7.25
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $0.91
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 1 hr. Total: 1 hr. 15 min.
|1 Tbsp||olive oil||$0.11|
|1 medium||yellow onion||$0.56|
|1 Tbsp||minced garlic||$0.24|
|1/2 lb.||carrots, sliced||$0.39|
|1/2 bunch||celery, sliced||$0.79|
|1 whole||bay leaf||$0.15|
|1 tsp||dried oregano||$0.05|
|1 tsp||dried thyme||$0.05|
|to taste||cracked pepper||$0.05|
|1-2 tsp (to taste)||salt||$0.05|
|1 cup||wild rice mix||$1.37|
|1/3 bunch||fresh parsley||$0.26|
|2 Tbsp||all-purpose flour||$0.02|
|2 cups||whole milk||$1.07|
STEP 1: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, dice the onion (and mince the garlic if using fresh rather than pre-minced). Add the onion and garlic to the hot oil and saute until tender (5 min).
STEP 2: If using fresh carrots and celery, clean and slice them while the onions are sauteing. Add them to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes more.
STEP 3: Add the chicken breast (whole), bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cracked pepper, dry rice, and 6 cups of water to the pot. Do not add salt yet. Bring the pot up to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for one hour.
STEP 4: Near the end of the hour, begin to make the creamy milk mixture. In a small pot, melt 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. When it is fully melted, whisk in 2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Cook and stir the butter and flour mixture for two minutes. Whisk in the milk and allow it to come up to a simmer, whisking occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Once it reaches a simmer, it will have thickened slightly.
STEP 5: Carefully remove the chicken pieces from the soup and shred or dice with a knife and fork. Rinse and chop the parsley. Add the parsley and the thickened milk mixture to the soup. Season with salt to taste. I used about 2 tsp of salt, but start with a little and add more as needed. I also added a touch more pepper at this point. Serve hot!
Step By Step Photos
Start by dicing the onion. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the diced onion and minced garlic over medium heat until softened and transparent.
'Till it looks like this.
Most recipes that I use only require half of the smallest bag or bunch of carrots and celery that you can buy at the store. I never let the other half get limp and moldy in my fridge. I just prep the entire bunch and freeze half so that I'll have some for next time. I added these to the pot straight out of the freezer and just cooked it for about five minutes or until they were fully thawed.
Once the carrots and celery are thawed (they don't have to be tender because they'll boil for quite a while), add the raw chicken and herbs (bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cracked pepper).
This is the wild rice mix that I had in my pantry. I used one cup. Feel free to use any type of rice. Wild rice has a thicker hull so it can withstand one hour of boiling, but if you're using a regular rice variety, add it a half hour into the simmer step.
Add the dry wild rice mix and 6 cups of water. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for one hour.
After an hour, the rice will be cooked and the chicken will be tender.
Carefully remove the chicken pieces from the pot and cut/shred into bite sized pieces.
It will be hot, so use a fork and knife. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.
Rinse and chop the parsley. Add it to the pot as well.
At this point you have a really great chicken, rice, and vegetable soup. You can stop here, season with salt, and enjoy it as is. Or, you can go on to the next step and make the creamy milk base.
To begin the cream sauce, melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in 2 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. Stir and cook this mixture over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Whisk in the milk and allow the mixture to come up to a simmer over medium-high heat. Whisk occasionally as it heats to prevent the bottom from scorching. Once it reaches a simmer, it will be slightly thickened.
Pour the thickened milk mixture into the soup. Stir to combine.
Season the soup with salt to your liking. Start with a 1/2 tsp of salt, stir, taste, and add more as needed. I added close to 2 tsp before it reached a point that I liked. I also added a little more pepper. A little cayenne wouldn't be too bad either!
This is a really hearty soup that is everything you need in one pot! Protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates!