This chicken and rice soup is creamy, yet light, perfectly savory. I found myself with loads and loads of homemade chicken stock and needed some way to use it up so I didn’t have to continue chipping away at my precious freezer real estate. I came up with this recipe as the answer to that tremendously terrible problem, and I’m so glad I did.
I scoped another recipe that called for at least double the butter, flour, and cream, but I wanted a better blend between the creaminess and refreshing lightness of a chicken noodle soup. It’s surprisingly rich, but not heavy.
For the wild rice, you can use a boxed mix and include the seasoning, or just go with an individually portioned 6 ounces of uncooked wild rice from a larger jar or bulk aisle. I used the packet of seasoning, because I have literally no shame when it comes to powdered seasonings, but if you’re trying to be a bit healthier, you can completely leave it out. The soup tasted completely and perfectly rich before the little packet.
If you have more chicken on hand–or white meat–that’s totally fine, too. We just happened to have only two little chicken drumsticks, which I thought wouldn’t be enough, but it really was! I brine pretty much all of my chicken, which makes it extremely tender, but because it’s essentially braised in this soup, it’s not totally necessary.
Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 pieces chicken legs , or other portion of chicken (2 breasts would work, or 2 legs/thighs for a meatier soup)
- 1/2 piece onion , chopped
- 1 piece carrot , chopped
- 2 stalks celery stalks , bottoms and tops trimmed, sliced
- 6 - 8 ounces mushrooms , sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 7 cups low-salt chicken stock
- 6 ounces wild rice blend
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup half-and-half , cream, or milk
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley , if desired, for garnish
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper (watch the salt if you brined your chicken). When hot, place chicken in pot and brown on each side, about 4 minutes each side.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Add your mirepoix (celery, onions, and carrots) and mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes, or until quite soft. Add your garlic and cook for about 1 minutes, or until fragrant.
Add 7 cups chicken stock and replace your chicken thighs back in the pot. Bring the a bare boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your rice per package directions. Set aside. About 10 minutes before the soup is done simmering, make your roux. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk well. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, to cook out the flour taste. Add in half-and-half, cream, or milk and whisk until very smooth. Raise the heat a tad, to allow the mixture to come to a boil, whisking constantly. Immediately lower the heat to medium and cook for about 1 minute, or until thickened.
Remove the chicken legs and allow to cool for just a few minutes. Add the flour and cream mixture to the pot of soup and whisk well to blend. When the chicken is cool enough, remove meat from the bone and shred or chop. Add back to the soup.
Add in the rice and taste for seasonings. Add the seasoning package if you like, or more salt or freshly ground pepper.
Spoon into individual bowls and serve with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.