The Sick Season's Holy Grail: Homemade Gluten-Free Chicken & Rice Soup
I will never forget flu season in our area a few years ago. As one of my neighbors described it, that winter was like living in an episode of the Walking Dead. Sickness hit everyone, and we never knew who was going to be next! I'm not trying to make light of the flu (particularly for our asthmatic kids, for whom it is particularly serious), but goodness, that description is just about right. It was everywhere.
I'm 100% on board with any preventative trick or homeopathic remedy that is floating around to help ease the ickiness of the upcoming cold and flu season. And, one thing that I keep reading more and more about is chicken bone broth. Whether you are simply trying to infuse your body with as much goodness as possible to stay healthy, or your trying to recoup from sickness, there is nothing better than a big bowl of chicken soup. And, the beauty of this recipe is that it is gluten-free... no noodles here! Just rice, chicken, a ton of veggies and that amazing bone broth that is full of vitamins and nutrients.
Chicken & Rice Soup
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms, cut in pieces
1 quart (4 cups) chicken bone broth
6 cups water
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. seasoned salt (I use Lawry's)
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup wild rice
1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs (seasoned & baked ahead of time, cut into pieces)
olive oil, salt and pepper (to season chicken)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put chicken breasts/thighs in baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into cube-sized pieces and set aside. *This part of the process is so important and adds so much flavor to the soup - don't simply boil the chicken; bake it ahead.
While chicken is cooking, chop carrots, celery and onion. Drizzle some olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and saute chopped vegetables until they are soft (about 5-8 minutes). Add chicken bone broth, water, garlic powder, thyme, salt, seasoned salt, and pepper. Add rice and stir well. Bring soup to a boil, and then simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until all of the flavors have time to marinate and the rice has cooked. During the last 10 minutes or so of cooking time, add cut-up baked chicken and fresh rosemary; mix well. *If at any time you feel like the soup is too thick, just add more water.
Finally, cozy up, pour yourself and bowl and ENJOY!