HEALTHY Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – YUM!

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While at Mrs. Green’s Natural Market on Friday, I was pleasantly surprised to see Murray’s whole chickens on sale ($1.99/lb). I have never cooked a whole chicken before, so I figured it was a good time to give it a shot.

This is an example of a Murray’s fresh young lean chicken. They are humanely raised – this is something that is morally/ethically important to me in buying meat. Image

Each package of Murray’s chicken comes with a unique code which allows you to verify where your chicken – “farm verification”. Image

My first venture into cooking a chicken turned out pretty well. I mostly followed The Pioneer Woman’s roast chicken recipe, which can be found here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/08/roast-chicken/. Unfortunately, I did not have any lemons because someone had used them all up (: I was worried without the lemon zest, the flavor would be dull. I was wrong. It turned out great. “The best chicken ever” was the response I received from one of my kids. Wow! Although I did not have any fresh lemons, I did have some lemon juice. I did pour it over the top, and then put two large cloves of garlic on the inside. I baked for about an hour (it was around 3.5 lbs) 450 and it turned out perfect!

After eating a few meals over the weekend from the roasted chicken, I already had my mind set on using the rest for a chicken and wild rice soup. Homemade soup is another first for me! I’ve opened hundreds of cans, but never made it myself. I figured now was as good as any. I don’t know how the process usually works, but since my chicken was already prepared, I decided to prepare my rice ahead of time as well.

I chose Lundberg Wild Rice blend- a mix of long grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, Wehani®, Black Japonica™ and select wild rice pieces. I’m a big fan of Lundberg products because they are NON-GMO PROJECT products, whole grain, vegan, and gluten-free. What’s not to love? Oh, and totally reasonable in price, too! I picked up this bag for just over $3 at Fairway.

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I love seeing these great labels on my food. 🙂 And as is important of any food, no additives, no weird, hard-to-prounounce ingredients, and a balance of carbs-fiber and protein a great whole grain product. For reference, I used half of the bag, which is 5 servings or 1 1/4 of dry rice. I cooked the rice with about half of an onion used 3/4 chicken stock 1/4 water to get some added flavor cooked into the rice. Cook time was aporoximately 45 minutes.

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While the rice was cooking, I prepped the veggies. I used carrots, celery and onions. The recipe I was loosely following called for one medium onion, one cup of celery, two cups of carrots. I used about 1 1/2 cups of celery, and 1 3/4 carrots, for reference. I chopped them finely and placed in bowls to wait for the rice to cook.

Once the rice was complete, I transferred to a separate dish. I was using the same pan for the soup, so I gave it a quick wash and dry – then threw it back on the stove. I put a dab of olive oil in the bottom and poured the veggies in – carrots, celery and onions. I tossed them around in the olive oil and cooked them for at least 5 minutes on medium heat.

Next, I added the chicken broth. I chose Pacific Organic Free Range Chicken Broth – Low Sodium because it was on sale and it’s a great product.. I always choose low-sodium when possible because I just don’t appreciate the flavor the sodium adds. If I feel like it needs something more, I’d rather add some fresh sea salt – which tastes 1000x better! (:

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This is safe for most dietary concerns, except for those who don’t eat meat. But, you wouldn’t be making a chicken wild rice soup if you didn’t eat meat now, would you? Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, wheat-free, corn-free, low sodium, low fat (only mentioning this because it’s on there, I think it’s not so important)! AND ORGANIC! Always better.

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With the chicken broth, I also added a heaping 1/2 tsp of Organic Thyme, plus fresh sea salt and ground pepper to taste/preference. I boiled for what seemed like FOREVER. I am usually a steamer. I probably should have steamed the vegetables first, and boiled it all today for a shorter period of time. By the time the vegetables were starting to soften, much of the broth had cooked out. Luckily, I had one addition can of chicken broth – it was not organic or low sodium though. 😦

Even with the addition can, the soup was very chunky! It was delicious but to make it last longer, I picked up an additional container of Organic Low-Sodium broth from Trader Joe’s to add it. I added the entire CARTON. It made the soup a more perfect consistency. With a hint of sea salt and more pepper (I LOVE fresh pepper!), it tasted even more delicious the second time around! (:

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup! 🙂

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Ingredients:

2  C. Cooked Chicken

3 C. Cooked Wild Rice

1 Medium Onion

1 1/2 C Celery

2 C Carrots

1/2 Heaping tsp Thyme

1 1/2 – 2 Containers Low Sodium Chicken Broth (32oz each, preferably Organic, Free Range)

Sea Salt – To taste

Pepper – To Taste

1. Steam vegetables – roughly 6 minutes to begin cooking

2. Combine one carton of broth, vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes.

3. Add chicken and rice. Add additional broth if needed. Warm on low for 5 minutes.

4. SERVE!

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