Archive | February, 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup

14 Feb

Chicken and Rice Soup

I could tell on Monday night that I was starting to get sick, so I went to bed early, hoping to wake up and feel better.  When that didn’t happen, I decided to make some nutritious and delicious comfort food to cure what ailed me.  This soup was exactly what the doctor ordered.  This soup tastes like it was a whole lot of work, when in fact it is almost totally hands off.  However, it has hours of home cooked flavor from the homemade bone broth and vegetable-poached chicken.  The rice is filling and adds a nice creamy texture to the soup.  I consider the lemon in both the broth base and as a finishing touch the “secret ingredient” here – it brightens up the whole dish and balances out the sweetness of the carrots.

I woke up the next morning feeling greatly improved, thanks in no small part to this healthy and satisfying dish.  If you plan to eat this as leftovers, be aware that the rice will soak up a lot of the liquid, and you will either need to add more stock as you reheat or eat a much less soup-y version the next day.  Both ways are really satisfying and have all of the same comforting flavors.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Homemade Chicken Broth:

1 whole chicken, giblets removed from plastic packaging

2 small yellow onions, quartered

1 shallot, halved

4-5 cloves garlic

2 large carrots, scrubbed clean and roughly chopped

4 stalks celery, roughly chopped

1 small eggplant, quartered

2 bay leaves

1 lemon, halved

1 tbs. whole black peppercorns

In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients.  Add water to cover all ingredients.

Over medium heat, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 4 hours, skimming fat occasionally, until darkened in color and chicken is cooked through.  Carefully remove chicken with a pair of tongs and set aside.  Strain, discarding remaining ingredients.

Chicken and Rice Soup:

1 whole chicken, reserved from above

12 cups chicken broth, reserved from above

1 tbs. butter

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 large stalks celery, sliced

2 large carrots, chopped

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

3/4 cups jasmine rice, uncooked

1 lemon, halved

Salt and pepper

Carefully remove chicken from the broth above and set aside to cool.  Once cool, using forks or your fingers, shred chicken into bite size pieces, both white and dark meat, discarding bones, skin, giblets, and fat.

In a medium Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, and carrots and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until onion is translucent and celery begins to become tender.

Add shredded chicken, parsley, and rice.  Bring stock to a simmer.

Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is tender.  Taste for seasonings, adjusting as necessary.  Serve immediately, with a squeeze of lemon over each bowl.

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Hot Cheesy Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Dip

10 Feb

I know this is a pictureless post, but I made this to bring to a Superbowl party and didn’t think to photograph it at the time.  But it was so good I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post it.  The creaminess of the mascarpone and mozzarella works beautifully with the sharpness of the parmesan, brightness of the artichoke hearts, and heat from the hot sauce and chile flakes.  The rich roasted garlic really brings everything together.  The textures are also a great match, with the crispy panko bread crumbs working beautifully with the melt-y, creamy cheese.  Basically, this dip was satisfying and addictive, and I couldn’t stop going back for one more chip or cracker full of it.  I really can’t say enough about how delicious this was – it was a true crowd pleaser.  The hint of spice is what really takes this over the top.

Somehow we managed to have a little of this leftover (we all had to save some room for the salad, chili, and the best key lime pie I’ve ever eaten), so I mixed it up with some cooked noodles and baked it for a really decadent macaroni and cheese.

Hot Cheesy Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Dip

Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

1 head garlic

1 tbs. olive oil

1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (you can use cream cheese)

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded

1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. parmesan, grated

2 tbs. hot sauce

2 tsp. dry mustard

2 tsp. red chile flakes

1 tsp. chili powder

1/3 cup panko bread crubs

1 tbs. butter, melted

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375º.

Cut off top 1/4″ of garlic head.  Place on a square of tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap the foil around the garlic.  Transfer to oven and roast 45 minutes, or until garlic cloves are softened and golden brown.  Squeeze garlic cloves into a medium mixing bowl.  Mash with a fork until paste consistency.  Add all ingredients except 2 tbs. parmesan, panko, and butter.  Stir to combine.  Taste for seasonings, and adjust as necessary.

Transfer to a 3 cup baking dish.  Set aside.

Mix together 2 tbs. parmesan cheese, panko, and melted butter.  Spread in an even layer across the top of the dip.

Transfer to oven and bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbling and topping is golden brown.

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