It really does not matter what time of year it is when it comes to Home Made Chicken soup. This is the essence of comfort food. Feeling a little down? Chicken soup. Slight runny nose? Chicken soup. Feeling neglected by your significant other? Chicken soup. You get the picture.
Scientists have confirmed that chicken soup can help cure the common cold. Heck, we have known that all along, have not we? Anything that tastes this good has got to cure something.
Seriously, they have said it has something to do with the onions and garlic combination with the chicken broth. Regardless, feel free to use this recipe, but do not try to low-cal it by using just boneless, skinless white meat or you'll be missing out on the curative properties. Seems the scientists say you need the whole chicken, not just part of it.
CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP
3 pounds chicken, whole, cut up -no giblets
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
3 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Jane's crazy mixed up salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
This recipe calls for the use of a pressure cooker which gives it a unique flavor and consistency.
If you're going to use the pressure cooker method, combine all ingredients except the rice in the pressure cooker. Follow your cookers instructions, which should be to cook for 20 minutes, remove cooker from heat and let pressure drop of its own accord. After the pressure has dropped, remove chicken pieces, remove bones and skin and dice the chicken. Return chicken to the pressure cooker and add the rice. Bring the pressure back up and cook for five minutes, remove cooker from heat and let pressure drop of its own accord. Be sure and check your cookers capacity and make sure you do not exceed the fill level. Add the water last since you can decrease it without compromising the flavor if you have a smaller cooker. If you have to substantially decrease the water, decrease the rice also.
If you're going to make this in a regular stock pot, the same instructions will apply with the exception of times. You will need to simmer this on low heat for approximately 1 hour. After the chicken has been diced and returned to the pot, add the rice and cook for 30 minutes. This will not yield the same creamy consistency as the pressure cooker method, however, if you wish, you may thicken with cornstarch. Mix two to three tablespoons of cornstarch with one half a cup of ice water, stir to combine and add to the soup, stirring until the soup is thickened. If you do not like rice, substitute egg noodles, but adjust the time since egg noodles take less time to cook than rice. This freezes beautifully, so make a double recipe and freeze the leftovers, if you have any.
This is great served with a crusty roll or saltines.
So, the next time you are feeling under the weather or just want a soul soothing bowl of soup, try your Grandmother's favorite – Chicken soup.