Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

This recipe looked delicious, and reminded me of this creamy chicken noodle soup that the one cook made at a bar I worked at years ago.  It didn’t turn out exactly as I expected, but it was good in its own way.  Thanks to www.cabotcheese.coop for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 deli-roasted chicken, about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 medium carrots, ends trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 1 small rib celery, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste

Instructions:

  • Pull off meat from chicken, placing skin, bones, and any hot or solidified juices in a large saucepan.
  • Dice 2 cups of chicken meat, saving the rest for another use, and set aside in refrigerator.
  • Add water, carrots, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaf to saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain simmer.
  • Cover pan and cook broth for one hour.
  • Pour broth through strainer set over a large bowl, pressing on solids to extract all broth.
  • Discard solids.
  • Melt butter in empty saucepan.
  • Add onions and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until onion is tender and beginning to brown.
  • Pour in strained broth.
  • Add wild rice, bring to a simmer and cook covered for 40 to 50 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, yogurt, and cornstarch until completely smooth with no small lumps.
  • Stir mixture into pot and continue stirring until soup thickens.
  • Add thyme, salt, pepper, and 2 cups reserved chicken.
  • Taste soup, adding salt and pepper if needed.
  • Stir until heated through and serve.

Notes:

  • As I said, not exactly how I thought it would come out.  I was expecting thick, almost-eat-it-with-a-fork kind of soup.  It ended up being a milky broth and that’s about it.  I will say that after I refrigerated it, the leftovers were slightly thicker.  Having said that, the flavor was very good, and Bob liked it too (and he usually hates cream soups).
  • I got my chicken at the local farmer’s market.  I’ve always been a bit of a snob about “oh, just buy a pre-cooked chicken so you save time with your meal”, but I’ll admit that using the skin/bones/etc. to make a quick broth worked really well.  Very flavorful and easy to do.
  • I didn’t follow instructions (shocking) and accidentally put some onion in with the celery and carrots for the broth part.  Good thing I had only planned to use half the onion for the soup so that I had some to actually put in later for the second part!  I’m sure it didn’t hurt anything.
  • I did get frustrated with the thickening process.  First, I whisked together the cream, yogurt, and cornstarch to a perfect non-lumpy consistency.  As soon as I dumped it into the pot of broth it looked disgusting (curdled bits of milk came to mind).  I stirred and stirred….still disgusting.  I finally started to whisk everything in the pot and that helped smooth it all out at least.  Then as it wasn’t thickening, I started to get impatient.  (this is when Bob knows it’s time to go away from the kitchen).  First I started cranking up the heat….still not thick.  Then, I added some more cornstarch…well, you can imagine…mega lumps in the broth!  Stir, whisk, stir, whisk….boiling pot of broth, getting hot…..I was ready to chuck the whisk across the kitchen!  🙂  I got a grip and finally just admitted that this wasn’t going to be the creamy delight I had planned on.
  • I strongly dislike thyme so I substituted some parsley.
  • I will definitely make this again.  One sort of nice thing (if you are a single person or just two of you to feed) – it makes about 4 reasonable servings.  Sometimes you make a pot of soup and you feel like you have to eat it every day for a week to get rid of it.  This was just enough to enjoy before burning out on it.
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