Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
How was your holiday? Mine was pretty busy – jumping from house to house and meal to meal. I think I had a bit too many of these:
Those Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies were a huge hit. And for all of those curious minds – Yes, our tree survived until Christmas! I guess it found some holiday spirit after all.
Today is New Year’s Eve and I’m ready for 2015. Do you have any New Year’s goals? I’m pretty cliché and want to lose some weight (way too many Christmas Cookies). That’s where this soup comes in. Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. It’s simple to make, completely homemade, and healthy.
AND DID I MENTION DELICOUS.
Be sure to make a big pot because you will want leftovers.
This is exactly the kind of dish that I want to ring in the new year with.
I’m not a big partier. Most people go out on New Year’s and party till dawn. Not me. I’m perfectly content with my plans. My sister and her husband will come over, we will play board games, drink wine, and cuddle up with big bowls of this soup.
I’ll make a big batch and leave it on low in a crockpot all night. It really will be a no-fuss delicious new year.
Are you ready to see how it’s made? Let’s Begin!
First things first: Ingredients. I know it looks like a lot, but you probably have all of these things on hand (I just needed the rice).
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 Large Onion
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Large Carrot (or 4 freakishly tiny ones)
1-2 Stalks of Celery
2 Tablespoons flour
¼ cup wine (Optional)
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup water (not pictured)
4 oz (1/2 cup) Long Grain Wild Rice (with seasonings)
2 Raw Chicken Breasts
1 cup milk
¼ cup Heavy Cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper – to taste
The heavy cream is optional – it makes the soup a little richer and creamier – but also a little more unhealthy.
Start by chopping up your mirepoix (Onions, Carrots, and Celery) and garlic. I like to get all of my prep work out of the way in the beginning.
Then get your pot ready. Place a large pot over medium high heat and add your olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Why both? Butter has a better flavor – adding a richness and nuttiness to the dish. But it can also burn easily. Olive oil has a higher burning temperature and raises butter’s burning temperature as well. Now you get all the delights of butter, but without the fear burning.
When your butter is melted and the pan is hot, add in your mirepox. — BUT NOT THE GARLIC. At least not yet anyways. Like butter, garlic is quick to burn. Allow your onions, carrots, and celery to soften and brown first (about 1 minute).
Now you can add in your garlic. Give everything a good stir (and a good pinch of salt and pepper) and allow to cook for another minute.
Next, add in your flour. This is called a roux. It will make the soup nice and thick later on.
Stir your flour around to evenly coat your veggies. Things will start to stick together – that’s okay!
Now add in a splash of your optional wine. Use whatever you have on hand. Don’t open up a bottle just for this – not unless you plan on drinking it with dinner. I used a white Pinot Grigio, but feel free to use whatever you like the taste of. If you’re not using wine skip straight to the chicken broth.
Then add a cup of water.
This is needed to help both the rice and chicken cook properly.
Next add in the rice. My rice has seasonings, if you don’t have rice with seasonings add a teaspoon of chicken bouillon to your soup.
Now add in your whole raw chicken breasts. Yes, I said raw. The chicken will cook in the broth, both soaking up and giving flavor. I love doing this in soups. Not only does it make my job super easy, but it gives soup a slowed-cooked-all-day flavor.
Now go take a nap. I’m serious. Set your pot to simmer and let the rice and chicken cook for at least 20 minutes. Watch some tv, read a book, or get caught up on other chores. This soup does not need your babysitting.
Are you back yet? Good. Check on your chicken. Is it cooked? Fish it out and put it on a cutting board.
Chop it into tiny bite-sized pieces and return it to the pot.
Was it not fully cooked when you started to cut into it? That’s okay just put it back in the pot and cook it a little longer.
Now it’s time to add the milk. This is where the creaminess happens 🙂
You will see your soup go from a yellowish color to a place cream color.
And add your heavy cream too it you are using it.
I add the milk and heavy cream at this stage (and not with the chicken broth and water) because I don’t want the soup simmering forever (and cooking the chicken and rice) with the milk. Milk has a tendency to burn or boil over. It also loses some of it’s creaminess once it’s been simmered awhile.
And finally, the last step – Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Adding this right at the end before you eat ties the whole soup together and gives it a shiny smooth texture.
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Large Onion, diced
- 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, diced
- 1 Large Carrot, diced
- 1 Stalk of Celery, diced
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup wine (Optional)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) Long Grain Wild Rice (with seasonings)
- 2 (about ½ lb) Raw Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup Heavy Cream (optional)
- Salt and Pepper – to taste
- Parsley to garnish (optional)
- Set a large pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Once the pan is heated and the butter melted, add in the diced onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until soften and slightly browned. Then add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add in the flour, stir to evenly coat the vegetables.
- Next, add the wine, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil, then add in the rice and raw chicken. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the soup, chop into bite-sized pieces, and return to the pot.
- Stir in the milk, cream (if using), and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with parsley if desired.