- Course: Main Course
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The addition of a flavorful whole grain, leeks and a hint of ginger is a particularly delicious spin on classic chicken and rice soup. I like to make the stock a day ahead so it can be refrigerated, which makes easy work of skimming off the fat (see Notes). This makes a great light dinner accompanied by whole-grain rolls and a tossed salad.
- 1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs/1.5 kg), cut into pieces
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 sprigs parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
- 12 cups (3 L) water
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 2 large leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced (see Notes)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) minced ginger root
- 1 cup (250 mL) brown and wild rice mixture, rinsed and drained
1. In a stockpot, combine chicken, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, whole garlic, bay leaf, salt, peppercorns and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Using a slotted spoon, skim off foam. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is falling off the bone, about 1½ hours. Drain, reserving chicken and liquid separately. Let cool. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Skim off fat from the stock.
2. Measure 2 cups (500 mL) of chicken and set aside in the refrigerator. (Refrigerate remainder for other uses, see Notes.) In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add rice and toss to coat. Add reserved stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until rice is quite tender, about 1 hour. Add reserved chicken. Cover and simmer until chicken is heated through, about 15 minutes.
Variation: Substitute an equal quantity of rinsed wild rice for the mixture. You may need to increase the cooking time, depending upon the size of the grains.
To clean leeks: Fill sink full of lukewarm water. Split leeks in half lengthwise and submerge in water, swishing them around to remove all traces of dirt. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water.
For best results, make the stock and cook the chicken the day before you plan to serve the soup. Cover and refrigerate stock and chicken separately. The fat will rise to the surface of the stock and can be easily removed. It will be easy to remove the skin and chop the cold chicken. Save the excess chicken to make sandwiches or a salad.
© 2008 Judith Finlayson