Monday, January 18, 2010

Guest Post: Roasted Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

It is with great pleasure to introduce you to sweet Divina Pe of Sense and Serendipity she is a wonderful cook and lovely person . She is from Manila,Philippines a professional cook, dancer, Violinist and an Aspiring food writer. Her blog is fabulous with healthy mouth watering recipes and great photography.

Roasted Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

This is my first guest post for 2010 and writing a post for Rebecca is wonderful and as I think of a recipe for her blog, I could imagine inviting Rebecca at my home for a quick yet relaxed lunch before she goes back to work (I work from home writing and taking care of Jasmine LOL). Just pretend that she’s in my neighborhood. And for her, I want something that would make her feel really at home and what could be better than Roasted Chicken and Brown Rice Soup. I could have prepared a fancier and more expensive meal but this soup is full of warmth, joy and comfort.

Roasted chicken is not only for special occasions anymore. They are undeniably a quintessential part of everyday meal. I consider them to be a staple in every household. I’m sure you have your own recipe so I’m not posting another roasted chicken recipe. I may avoid the skins in almost every chicken dish, even fried chicken but with roasted chicken, I do eat the skin (only when newly roasted).

They’re so full of flavor and they’re absolutely delicious. They are simple to make and they are truly versatile. If you have any leftover roasted chicken or other poultry, they are perfect for every kind of dish – soups, salads, pot pies, pasta, sandwiches and many others. Try to make roasted chicken every two months or even every month and see how many recipes you can come with it. You’ll be thankful that you have roasted chicken in the fridge to save the day.

Sometimes you would roast a whole bird just because you want to incorporate it into other dishes. That’s what I did here. I did roast some chicken but not as a dish but because I want to use it for something else like this soup.

I grew up with white rice my whole life and I still can’t live without it. But I also love the nuttiness and wholesomeness of brown rice, always soaking them first before cooking for full digestibility. And you can also use a rice blend for a more interesting texture which also provides a good source of nutrients. Whatever you add to this chicken and rice soup would be good but I love the addition of umami-rich and earthy mushrooms. This is really comfort food elevated to ultimate gorgeousness. Serve this with an antioxidant salad and a light dessert and you’re good to go. I hope you like it.

Roasted Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

Makes 4-6 servings

  • Rice
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice or wild rice blend (soaked in water overnight with 2 tsp of whey, yogurt of buttermilk)
  • 1 ¾ to 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Soup
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 leek, white part only
  • 2 cups shimeji mushrooms
  • ½ roasted chicken (or 3 cups hand-shredded chicken)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • unrefined sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 6-7 cups chicken stock
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon

To cook the rice, drain, rinse and place the soaked rice in a large pot with the chickens stock. Add ½ tsp of salt and bring to boil, then lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook the rice for 45 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. This can be prepared in advance.

To prepare your mise en place, peel and cut the onion, carrots, celery and leeks into medium dice. Then, cut the bottom of the shimeji mushrooms and hand shred the roasted chicken.

To cook the soup, melt butter and warm the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and season with salt. Sweat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the carrot, celery and leeks and cook until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and cook for another 1 minute. Add 6 cups of the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Then add theshimeji mushrooms, the chicken and the rice. Cook until the mushrooms are cooked, and the rice and chicken are heated through. Check the soup if it needs more stock. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat.

To serve the soup, remove the tarragon leaves from the stem and add to the soup. Ladle the soup into individual soup bowls and serve immediately.


Another way to cook this soup is to bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the rice and reduce the heat to simmer. While the rice is cooking, sweat the other ingredients (onion, carrot, celery, leeks and turmeric) in another pan. When the rice is already cooked, add all the ingredients and simmer until everything is heated through. Season to taste and serve.

After removing the chicken from the bones, save the chicken bones to make chicken stock.

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