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.