Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
adapted from this recipe
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, chopped
6 cups water or stock
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 to 1 cup hot water (if needed)
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a medium pot. Add wild rice, return to a steady simmer on low, cover and cook for 45 minutes, until tender and the water nearly absorbed.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and nearly cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add the salt, onion, celery and carrots to the chicken fat in the pot. Saute for about 5 or 6 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 more minutes. Gradually pour in the water (or stock), stirring constantly, until all has been added. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low so that the soup is just simmering.
Add the cooked wild rice, chicken with accumulated juices, curry powder, mustard powder, ground black pepper, almonds and wine and stir well to combine. Leave it on a bubbly simmer for about 30 minutes.
Pour in the half-and-half and stir through to heat. Add extra water, if needed, to bring to desired consistency. Check broth for salt level and add more to taste, if necessary. Stir in the fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately with Tabasco sauce and extra pepper.
The original of this recipe called for half a cup of butter as a base and precooked chicken to toss in later. I am only mentioning this because I must say I revise a lot of chicken one-pot or soup recipes in this fashion: why would you cook the chicken separately when you can cook it in the pot as a flavor and fat base? Makes perfect sense to me!
As for the taste, all I (we) can say is WOW. This is an outstanding soup. The combination of chicken, mushrooms, wild rice and almonds reminds us of our very old favorite Cornish game hen stuffing. Fantastic. The addition of curry powder and mustard powder seemed odd at first, but after making this numerous times, I must say those two spices really work. You don’t taste them specifically, yet I feel they add extra body and punch to an already wonderfully savory soup. Kind of genius.