Chicken Rice Soup; holiday eating; the update

I did it to myself once again.

If I haven’t yet figured out how to eat without (occasionally) biting my own tongue or to remember to always get my fingers out of the way of slamming objects, it only stands to reason that I will likely never learn how to successfully manage my own time.

Apparently I have a highly exaggerated opinion of my own abilities.

I added another option to my Weekly Menu Service.

Simple enough.

It should only have taken me a day… maybe two.

But, once I got into it, I tweaked this and adjusted that, and suddenly three days had gone by.

So, finally satisfied with everything, I published.

Then spent another day trying to figure out a coding problem that was…. (you don’t really care….)

Along the way I decided to take down the Christmas decorations and cook that turkey I had bought on impulse and was taking up room in my freezer.

Naturally I had to brine it first….

And stuff it.

One of my more endearing traits: the more frantic I get the more perfect everything has to be.

I didn’t even take a photo of the stupid turkey last night – it wasn’t perfect!

It really was an ugly bird – one wing was broken, one leg had been amputated just above the foot and the bone splinters were sticking out at odd angles, and it was very dark.

Maybe that’s why it was so cheap – 7lb turkey for only 10 Euro (about 13 US).  The pretty ones were all around 40 Euro

I really wish I would have taken that photo…. it was sooooo ugly.  Tasted good though.

Mon mari is celebrating these days.  He’s had some ‘lasts’.

In case you didn’t know, ‘lasts’ can often be more rewarding than ‘firsts’.

He put up the last piece of sheet rock in our new bedroom.  Even the inside of the closets are finished.

He’s buying the ceiling boards tomorrow.

Bedroom

He hung the last door in the hallway.  It’s there, behind the step-ladder

 

This is a soon to be ‘last’…. This spot is the only bit left up there needing insulation and /or sheet rock. (of the area we’re currently working in)

He’s actually had to carve edges of the sheet rock to get it to fit around the ‘natural’ lines of the posts and beams.

Oh… This just in: he fitted the last piece in a few minutes ago.  DONE!!!!!!

Insulation
Regarding the last two weeks of holiday eating…..

How did we all do?

I read that the average American can expect to gain 7 – 10 lbs between Thanksgiving and January 2.

Sadly, I also read that they can only expect to lose half of it. (on average).

I added 2 myself – and I don’t regret one bite of foie gras, one glass of champagne, one cookie or one piece of chocolate.

I do, perhaps, think some soup is in order for the week.  (Weight is easiest to lose right after it’s gained.)

And maybe an extra 15 minutes on the bike…..

This is a fairly quick soup, considering the stock is from scratch.

If you can get cheap chicken wings, add them to the stock for more flavor. I used Basmati but any rice will be delicious.

You can make it even more simple using just chopped, boneless chicken breasts and canned broth.

The cornstarch doesn’t thicken the soup so much as add a more luscious ‘mouth-feel’.

Chicken Rice Soup
Chicken Rice Soup

The stock:

2 chicken breasts, with skin and bone
2 chicken thighs, with skin and bone or a whole chicken
the tops from a bunch of celery or 2 ribs celery
1 carrot
1 onion
bouquet garni
6 cups water / stock enough to cover
salt or chicken base/stock cubes, or use some chicken stock instead of water

Cut the vegetables into large chunks. If you are using celery tops, use them all, including the leaves. Put chicken, vegetables, herbs and water in soup pot or Dutch oven. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour if using parts, 2 or 3 hours if using a whole chicken.
When done, strain stock, discarding vegetables and reserving chicken. If time allows, chill stock and remove fat.
Refrigerate chicken if not making soup immediately.

The soup:

4 medium carrots
4 ribs celery
2 medium leeks
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 tbs whole grain mustard
3/4 cup rice
the chicken used to make the stock
6 – 8 cups chicken stock
2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in 4 tbs water

Bring stock to a boil over medium heat. Cut carrots in half, the long way then thinly slice. Add to stock. Thinly slice celery, add to stock. Clean leek, slice thinly, including 3 inches of green, add to stock. Add herbs, mustard, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Add rice, simmer 20 minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in water, stir into soup.
Cut the chicken into small pieces, discarding skin and bones. Add to soup and heat through.

Happy New Year Everyone!  (I kind of missed it…..)

9 thoughts on “Chicken Rice Soup; holiday eating; the update”

  1. I make a nice soup from a turkey carcass, too, so your ugly one can be put to good use even if it’s not photogenic right now. Follow this recipe, more or less, then add frozen corn kernels and whatever veggies you like.

  2. I like the idea of mustard in the soup. Must try this recipe. Have you ever read Maurice Sendak’s delightful little children’s book called “Chicken Soup with Rice?”

  3. Katie, you make me laugh! I can so relate, and see myself doing exactly the same things! I think I gained 5lbs! Time for exercise, and noooo more sugar!

  4. The cornstarch doesn’t thicken the soup so much as add a more luscious ‘mouth-feel’. Wow, those are great words!!! Each time I read them, I like them better. Enjoying the pics of mon-mari’s work. Happy New Year. Susan

  5. My turkeys usually come out too dark, I like to use honey in my brine so the sugar bakes black. But, very tasty, all that is important.
    It’s 5 degrees right now, your soup sounds perfect!
    And the house is coming together… do you have a target finishing date yet???

  6. Zoomie, I had some Wild Rice left from my last trip to the US – Turkey Wild Rice soup in the fridge (after 2 meals already – made a lot)
    Mary, no, I haven’t seen that book – will look for it. I like (well done) children’s books.
    Ina, it seemed that the more sugar I are the hungrier I was. Not good at all!
    Susan, and Happy New Year to you as well – I’ll let mon mari know he’s appreciated ;-))
    Year on the Grill, target date? Sure, last year. I think we missed it. We’ve got lots of family coming in May and they all seem to think they should have beds. We’re working on it.
    Mimi, I love soup in winter. Wished mon mari shared my enthusiasm… He ‘likes’ it ‘once in awhile’
    Meredith, and Happy New Year to you!
    manningroad, I really didn’t need to hear that – but then you just were in the cold, so I guess it’s okay 😉

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