Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sipping Once, Sipping Twice, Sipping Chicken Soup with Rice

Maurice Sendak, you will be missed.  You understood so well the loneliness children feel with their inability to articulate their feelings.  You understood that childhood is not all sweetness and innocence but also the first phase of struggles to overcome. There is still a copy of "Where the Wild Things Are" in my night stand to remind me that even in my most frustrating moments, I can always sail home.  Thank you for giving our young selves the words and illustrations we needed.  Thank you for not underestimating our feelings.

I felt a great sense of relief when after Max had decided to return from his great and perilous adventure, after he left his new and terrible friends, that here was a bowl of something steaming and delicious brought to his room.  I could just taste it.

On snow days and sick days my mom would read "Chicken Soup with Rice" from the Nutshell Library to remind us of the comforts of home when storm or flu kept us indoors.  I am home sick today and thinking of Old Bombay, my favorite line in the poem when the young illustrated Maurice imagines traveling to exotic lands to "dream about hot soup all day."

I declared that I would ride an elephant in Old Bombay, to which my dismayed mother would always reply, "Oh no, please don't go, I'll eat you up, I love you so."

This is a take on both a traditional chicken soup with rice recipe and an Italian creamed soup with chickpea, porcini and farro.  I added the elements of that soup while swapping the farro out for black wild rice.   Both exotic and familiar.

Creamy Chicken Soup with Wild Rice, Mushrooms and Chickpeas

For the stock:
  • 1 lb chicken parts
  • 2 small or 1 large onion
  • 2 stalks of celery 
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed to removet he skin but other wise kept whole
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small or one large bay leaf
  • 7 to 9 sprigs parsley
  • 7 to 9 sprigs dill
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 10 cups water
  • salt to taste
For the soup:
  • 6 cups above chicken stock
  • shredded cooked chicken from above stock
  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 10 oz to 1 lb chopped mushrooms such as crimini, portabello, standard white button, oyster or a mix of these
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups chickpeas pureed or mashed into a paste
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped fine 
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 carrot chopped fine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh chopped parsley for serving
  • fresh chopped dill for serving
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt  and white pepper to taste

Put the dried porcini in a small bowl of water. 

In a large stock pot, combine all the ingredients for you chicken stock.   Cover and and bring to a boil.  Once it is boiling, lower the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid reduces by one fourth.  Remove the chicken and set aside to cool.  Put a colander over a large bowl and strain the broth.  Discard remaining ingredients.
In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Add your chopped onion, carrot, celery and garlic.  Sautee` until they soften.  Add mushrooms and continue to sautee until the mushrooms reduce in size. When the vegetables start to get dry, add the cream.  When the cream is absorbed by the mushrooms, add the stock and the bay leaf.  Simmer over medium low heat and reduce to desired thickness.  When the chicken is cool separate the meat from the bone and chop to shreds.  Add your cooked rice, shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with chopped fresh herbs.

No comments:

Post a Comment