Who doesn’t love chicken soup? Well, besides vegetarians and vegans, but really, chicken soup is universally loved. By using rice instead of noodles, it becomes gluten free too, as long as you don’t add the cute, tasty little oyster crackers. Which are a six year old’s only real reason for eating soup, just ask my son. This is a great, quick soup to make when you have leftover chicken and/or rice to use up. Or if you feel like a satisfying, nutritious, warm meal. Yes, even here in Arizona people get the hankering for a warm meal in our “winter” months.
I usually get a roasted chicken from the deli for this recipe, but you can use whatever kind of leftover chicken you have. Grilled, baked, even meatballs, as long as they aren’t in a sauce. Or if you make your own delicious roasted chicken, use the leftovers from that. I even know people who roast chickens in their slow cookers and swear by it! If I get the whole roasted chicken, I take the skin off the breasts, cut each side off the bone as a whole piece, then dice into large chunks. This is a lot easier than trying to carve pieces of white meat off like you are in a Norman Rockwell painting at Thanksgiving. But really, just do whatever you need to do to get the meat off the bone and dice it up.
For the dark meat, you can pull down on the drumstick part of the legs and the wings, give a little twist, and they usually come right off. I know this can be intimidating and messy, but just do it once and you won’t be as weirded out the next time! Then you can remove the skin and take the dark meat off to dice as well. Or give your husband the wings to eat, which is what I do. Don’t forget to turn the chicken over, there is a lot of meat on the side/bottom of the legs.
Usually there is enough meat for two meals. I get about 4 cups of diced chicken from one roasted bird. I use half for soup, and half for chicken fried rice or to eat with roasted veggies. Or I eat it as I’m making this soup.
Prepping the vegetables doesn’t take long either. I use the classic carrot, celery and onion combo. I’ve tried adding other vegetables, but they just seem out of place. Here are a few photos (again, I’m working on my photos, sorry!) to illustrate the stages of slicing and/or dicing each veggie.
Then it’s just a matter of sauteing the veggies for 5 minutes or so, adding the stock, seasonings, chicken and rice and you are good to go!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup yellow onion, about ½ of a small onion, small diced
- 4 carrots, approximately 1½ cups, peeled and sliced into rounds. You can cut the rounds in halves or quarters if you have giant carrots.
- 2 celery stalks, about ½ cup, cut off the top and the white part of the bottom, unless you like them. Dice celery.
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme - crushed in your hand before adding to the pot
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 -3 cups diced chicken
- 1 cup cooked brown rice, or white rice, which is equally delicious
- Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat, I use a 6 quart non-stick pot. Add onion, carrots and celery to the pan. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon Kosher salt over the veggies and saute for 5-6 minutes until softened, but not fully cooked.
- Add the chicken stock and all seasonings (turmeric, thyme, salt and pepper). Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Add the chicken and the rice, simmer for 15 minutes and serve! With or without oyster crackers.