Monday, March 12, 2012

Curried Wild Rice and Chicken Chowder

For someone like me who is totally petrified of spicy foods, you are always on the hunt for food that is full of flavor. Even the wussiest of palettes don't like blandness. At least mine doesn't. So after finding the quinoa burger recipe on a new blog the other day, I browsed the recipes and found this soup. Since spring is upon me, I figured I only have a little time left when I can get away with actually making soups. This one was absolutely delicious. Full of flavor, hearty and healthy. Bf was also a major fan. I will definitely be making it again. A few notes. 1) if you know you will be busy the night of, plan on making the wild rice and the chicken ahead of time. If it were me, (which it is, so next time), I will plan on cooking two or more dinners in a week that call for pre-cooked chicken, so that I can hit two hens with one stop. Get it? Hens? Ok, terrible joke. Sorry. 2) This dish could easily be altered to accommodate dietary restrictions. For vegetarians just leave out the chicken and use vegetable broth. For vegans, perhaps a butter and milk alternative. 3) If possible, the dish is even better after being frozen and reheated. It thickens slightly but really retains the chowder consistency and is totally amazing. So keep those leftovers!

Curried Wild Rice and Chicken Chowder.
recipe from here

1/4 cup wild rice
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon yellow curry powder
2 cups shredded chicken breast (that's roughly two small breasts or one really big one)

 I started by getting the onions and garlic cooking the olive oil and butter.
I also put the rice and the water in a small sauce pan and brought the water to a simmer and simmered the rice for about 25 minutes, then drained. At this point, I also poached the chicken and let it cool.
 When the onions and garlic were slightly golden and tender, I added the carrots, zucchini and celery and cooked for about ten more minutes until tender. When the veggies were tender, I added the flour and stirred until incorporated. I let the flour taste cook off for a few minutes while stirring before moving on.
Then I added the milk, chicken broth, rice, salt, pepper, bay leaf, chives, thyme, sage, nutmeg and curry powder. Next time I'll definitely use 2% milk instead of non-fat. It tasted great, but it didn't thicken as much and the brother retained a bit of a gritty appearance (not taste!) because of the flour.
 I let the soup simmer for about 25-30 minutes until thick and nice and hot. Meanwhile, I cut up the chicken.
After 30 minutes, I removed the bay leaf, added the chicken and let cook for a few minutes to heat the meat through.
I served up two big bowls with a little cheese on top for garnish and promptly proceeded to burn my mouth! So be careful and enjoy!

3 comments:

  1. One day, I'm going to trick you into eating something spicy. Maybe you'll think you're about to dip a french fry in ketchup, and realize only moments later that it's sriracha. Then again, given your complete lack of spice tolerance, I should probably start with, you know, a single grain of black pepper. Either way, we're going to get spice into your palate, my dear!

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