Kewl "Multigrain" Chicken & Rice Soup
Fill up with this delicious soup.
Warm uo with this healthy and delicious winter soup.
Wrap the herbs--the sprigs of parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves--into a bunch with kitchen twine, and secure the twine with a knot. This will create a "bouquet garni" of herbs. Repeat this process with the reserved, stiff, dark green tops of the leek by tying them into a bunch with kitchen twine and securing the twine with a knot, Set both bunches aside. In a large 7-quart sauce pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat on the stovetop until the oil shimmers and develops a "wavy" quality.
Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are browned and caramelized, and both vegetables are very fragrant. Ensure that the garlic does not burn.
Carefully lower the chicken into the bottom of the pot. Immediately pour oven it the chicken broth and 6 cups of water. Do not be concerned if the chicken is not completely covered with liquid. Add the bouquet garni of herbs and the leek tops wrapped in kitchen twine to the liquid, and cover the pot with the lid (boiling the leek tops now will allow them to surrender their potent flavors to the broth, and tenderize them until they are soft enough to eat; the enormous flavors of the herbs will also permeate the broth with this method of "steeping" them in the soup, and provide their tough, inedible stems the opportunity to release their qualities, as well). Raise heat to high. Bring the to a strong, rolling boil (it can take up to 20-30 minutes to bring the liquid to an intense boiling stage). Boil and cook for 1 hour, commencing precisely when the liquid begins to boil. Do not adjust the heat on the stovetop--the soup must boil at high heat for 60 minutes in order to cook the chicken through. Do not remove the lid from the pot, as it is essential to preserve all of the liquid in the pot by keeping it covered while cooking.
Approximately 30 minutes after the boiling has begun, place both the basmati and wild rices in a medium saucepan. Stir with a spoon to combine. Pour over the rices 6 cups of water, cover the pot, and set on a burner on the stovetop. Raise to high heat. Cook for approximately 30 minutes from the time the water begins to boil, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the water in the pot. Lightly fluff the rice with a spoon or fork, place in a heatproof serving dish, cover with aluminum foil to preserve the heat, and set aside.
After 1 hour of boiling the soup in the pot (at this stage, the chicken should be cooked through--an excellent indication of doneness is if, when the chicken's legs are "wiggled" with tongs, they easily pull away from the rest of its body at the joint at which they attach to the rest of the bird), carefully remove the chicken from the pot using a tool such as a heavy, durable Chinese spider. Quickly suspend the chicken over the pot briefly and momentarily, so as allow it to drain. Place it on a heatproof plate, set aside, and allow it to rest and cool for roughly 5 minutes. Also, remove the bouquet garni and leek tops, and place these on a heatproof cutting board. Set aside and allow to cool for roughly 3-5 minutes.
Add all of the remaining vegetables--the diced and reserved leek bottom, carrots, celery, parsnips, and rutabaga--to the soup. Stir to evenly distribute. Cook, continuing to boil the soup, covered and set over high heat, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. After 15 minutes, when the vegetables are cooked, turn off the stovetop heat and place the pan on a cool burner or surface on the stovetop, still covered with the lid.
If desired, return the leaves of the herbs and now tender-enough-to-eat leek tops to the soup, so as to enhance the flavors of this soup even more. Using kitchen shears or a knife, slice off the kitchen twine from the bouquet garni and the bunch of leek tops. Discard. Tear off the leaves of the herbs or scrape them away with a knife (they will very easily pull away from their stems and stalks). Roughy chop them and add them back to the soup. Discard their stems and stalks. Also, roughly chop the leek tops and add them back to the soup, as well. Stir to combine. Cover the pot again.
When the chicken has cooled slightly to the point that it can be safely handled, peel back the skin. Remove the meat from the breasts, legs, thighs, and other prominent areas of the chicken. Ensure that all of the meat has been removed from the bones and carcass before discarding them. Shred the meat into large yet bite-sized chunks by inserting the forks into the pieces of the chicken and then pulling them into opposite directions to tear the meat. When all of the meat has been torn, add it back to the soup and stir to combine.
Serve using a ladle to fill each bowl with broth and vegetables, herbs, and chicken. Present the rice cooked and set aside, allowing each guest to serve themselves a satisfactory quantity of rice with a serving spoon. Also serve sea salt and ground black pepper on the side, so as to give each guest the option of adding additional seasonings, if desired, according to their preferences and personal tastes.
This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.