Chicken Wild Rice Soup

My husband and I just entered into a new phase in our life, he retired after 26 years and too many deployments to keep track of! I missed a week of blogging due to all the excitement, but I'm ready to see what's in store for this next chapter of our lives.   

We still haven't gotten but a brief dusting of snow, but it's cold enough outside that soups, stews and braised meats are on the menu. Today I am making one of my favorites, Chicken Wild Rice soup. My mom used to make this soup when I was a kid growing up in Minnesota. A lot of wild rice is grown in Minnesota, it is actually considered grass, but don't let that change your mind! It's really delicious, with all of its earthy goodness! Just cook it in a good chicken broth, add some hearty herbs and a little butter, and when it's cooked just add it to any dish, it makes a great side! Ok, I will shut my pie hole and get on with the soup.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
1 Roasted Chicken (meat removed and set aside)
1 Large Onion (diced)
1 Head of Broccoli (only tips cut off)
Carrots (peeled and grated)
1 Carton of Good Sodium Chicken Stock (32oz)
2 Quarts of Heavy Cream

4oz of wild rice (cooked separately) 
In a sauce pan add rice and 4 cups of water, boil until it softens, rinse and add to soup. It will finish cooking in the soup. It turns the water brown, so I like to give it a start in its own water to cook that off. 

1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Add to small pan with a tab of butter over low heat until brown and bubbly.

I am only as good as the food I start with! So use the best ingredients you can find. I like to use roasted chickens in a lot of things I make. They are soaked in chicken goodness as they spin around in the oven, and are always tender and delicious. I have to add, use a good chicken stock if you are not making your own. I make my own sometimes, but even as a chef, not always. So my favorite is Kitchen Basics, beef, veggie, seafood, veal and chicken, with low sodium in each as well. I challenge you to buy a box of it and a box of whatever other brand you have been buying, go home pour them in a glass side by side, you will see the difference, now heat it a little bit and taste the difference! It's like I said, you are only as good as the food you start with! Personally, I think we eat too much sodium, we really don't know what food should taste like because it is so salted. Ok back to the soup.

Take the meat off the chicken and set aside. Dice one large onion, add to a large stock pot with a couple tablespoons of butter and cook until it is translucent. Add spices to simmer with the onions for extra flavor: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, & thyme. Slowly add in the chicken stock, chicken, and cream. Add the grated carrots and broccoli tips, and simmer for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in the cooked wild rice and let simmer about 10 minutes. While it's simmering, add about 2 tablespoons of butter to a small pan, add the almonds, and toast over low heat until the butter bubbles and turns brown, don't walk away, because it burns quickly! When it's browned, add it to the soup, it should bubble up. The browned butter adds a great flavor to the soup and toasting the nuts first keeps them crunchy!

I have been doing my calendar for the truck next Summer, it's looking pretty good! We even booked our first wedding! And this Winter, I am up in Sackets Harbor helping with "The 12 Beers of Christmas" at the Hops Spot. 

I'll be back next week with some more good food, until than happy eating and enjoy the season! If anyone would like to learn anything special, let me know and I will make it happen! 

Thank you,
Chef Carol

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