• Abby Estevez

Creamy Wild Rice & Chicken Soup

Mmmmm... nothing beats a bowl of hearty chicken soup on a chilly afternoon. Although my lunch breaks have shifted dramatically over the last few months, I have come to appreciate my home cooked meals.

Wild Rice is not utilized enough, it's the best rice to use in soup because it keeps it's al dente texture and makes any soup more hearty.

Chicken thighs are also underrated; I buy mine, boneless and skinless. It's easier to shred and bit healthier. Chicken thighs have more fat then a normal chicken breast, so they stay tender and juicy for this recipe!

Creamy Wild Rice & Chicken Soup

Serves 6

1 lb chicken thighs (about 4)

- I use boneless and skinless, as it's easiest to shred and less fat

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large carrot, small diced

2-3 celery stalks, small diced

1 medium yellow onion, small diced

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 cup wild rice blend

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup greek yogurt (I use 2% Fage)

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

7 1/2 cups of broth, divided

First start by preparing the chicken, pat dry and season with the dry ingredients; pepper, salt, parsley, thyme and garlic. Be sure to rub the seasoning well into the chicken.

Place a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat and heat up the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken thighs skin (or where the skin should be) side down. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes or until crispy brown, flip and repeat on the other side. Once done, remove from heat and set aside on a cutting board.

In the large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Add in the mirepoix, your mixture of diced carrot, celery and onion. Stir through the butter and picking up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the vegetables to cook till soft, about 3-4 minutes, then remove from pot and set side.

Pour in 2 tablespoons of dry sherry or dry white wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir in the wild rice blend and toast for 30 seconds. Pour in the 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes with the cover on.

While that cooks, shred the chicken thighs. I find it's easiest to use two forks for this either in a bowl or on a cutting board.

After 45 minutes, the rice should be done cooking and be fluffy. Stir in the parmesan cheese and return the vegetables to the pot. Pour in the remaining 4 1/2 cups of broth and bring the heat up to high.

Measure out a cup of heavy cream, and while waiting for the broth to boil, begin tempering the heavy cream. You can easily do this buy adding 1 tablespoon at a time of broth to the heavy cream. Mix the spoonful through and add another, 4-5 should be plenty to bring the temperature up enough so that cream does not curdle. Add the tempered heavy cream and the greek yogurt to the broth and wait for the soup to come to a boil.

Add the shredded chicken, parsley and any salt or pepper to taste. Stir through well and serve!

After I am done with my bowl, and my boyfriend has finished his two... I like to freeze the rest in individual portions. Typically, I portion out and allow the soup to cool to room temperature on the counter BEFORE placing the lid and adding them to the freezer!

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