Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chicken & Rice Soup

As promised, here's a blog on our homemade chicken & rice soup.  I make this almost every time we have a roasted chicken in the house.

I grew up in family that didn't let much go to waste.  Perhaps that is why I cringe when I see people throw away bones with meat still left on them.  I think, "There's a whole meal to be created there!"

As I mentioned in an earlier post, you can roast your own chicken at home or use a Costco rotisserie chicken.  If you're using the Costco (or similar rotisserie chicken) don't throw away the carcass or any of that yummy juice in the bottom of the container.  The juice at the bottom and the skin add delicious flavor.

The carcass

Place the carcass in a large soup pot and add water.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.  Simmer for hours, adding water if necessary.

After hours of cooking your chicken stock is ready for the next process.  Why is homemade chicken stock, or bone broth, important? 

According to Sally Fallon, author of Broth is Beautiful, "Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily- not just calcium and magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals.  It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons- stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and join pain." 

She continues with fish broth, "Broth and soup made with fish heads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances."

And to think we throw away all this nutrition!

Simmering Away.

After your chicken carcass has cooled, remove meat from the bones.  Discard bones and skin.  If there is excess floaties on the top you don't care for, just skim that off.  Add chicken meat back to pot. 

At this point, if you want only chicken broth, chicken meat and rice, you can add 1/2-1 cup of rice depending on how much broth you made.  If necessary, add salt and some pepper to taste.  Before the rice, I usually add chopped onion, carrot, celery, and peas to the pot.  Cook for about a 1/2 hour.  Then I add the rice.  I've been using brown rice, and it turns out great.  Cover pot and let rice cook.  This is such a simple clean soup, I usually don't add many seasonings.  The kids love the simpleness of it.

I once made this soup when we were hosting 5 Ugandan girls at our house.  I bought two Costco chickens and just put them directly in my biggest soup pot.  It's a BIG pot.  I cooked the chickens and then just added rice to the broth.  It was a very meaty rice soup.  The girls were crazy for it!  One little girl, after she went for her fourth serving said to me, "Mom, this soup is not good...OPPOSITE!"  She was a cutie!  She loved it.  Who knew a little body could hold so much soup?

Here are some photos of our precious five!

The Ugandan Girls and our Girly- All Girls!

Helping in the kitchen.

Fun times!

Precious Children

After the vegetables have cooked, the soup is ready to be served.

Enjoy!  Your joints could quite possibly thank you!

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