Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to Make Lemon Chicken Rice Soup




Light But Satisfying Soup

Want a light, but satisfying meal? This Lemon Chicken Rice Soup is all of that and more. I make this frequently for my family during cool weather. It's just hearty enough to fill you and yet light enough to keep you from feeling stuffed. The soup begins with chicken broth, but there's added lemon for a tangier flavor and bit of Vitamin C (important in the winter.) Oh, and it's a Greek recipe, known as Avgolemono Soup (It's easy if you say it with the lemon in mind...Av-go-lemon-o)...but we'll just call it Lemon Chicken Rice Soup.


A Bit of Lemon For The Tang

The soup begins with chicken broth, but there's added lemon for a more tangy flavor and bit of Vitamin C (important in the winter.) Don't feel you have to eat this great soup with crackers, (although you can) but pair it with a good, crusty bread and it will "stick to your ribs," as my Mama used to say. If you're having it for lunch, put a grilled cheese sandwich with it. Serve some fresh fruit as a finisher, and everyone's happy. 











Make It Easier With Leftover Chicken

One of the things I like to do is make Lemon Chicken Rice Soup with leftover chicken from the night before. You only need about one cup cubed chicken for this recipe, and leftovers from dinner usually fit that criteria. It successfully uses the entire chicken making two meals from one purchase. You could also use a pre-roasted deli chicken if it's a more convenient fit for your time frame. 










How To "Temper" Eggs

You will see a term used in this recipe called "tempering."If you haven't done this before, in cooking terms it simply means putting a couple Tablespoons of hot liquid (such as hot chicken broth) into the cool liquid (beaten eggs and lemon juice) you plan to add to the final dish. Tempering warms the cool liquid just enough to make it incorporate smoothly into the mixture, leaving it lump-free. In my young years, I never knew about this technique, and if you've ever made gravy and had it lump, you know how disappointed I was with mine one Thanksgiving. The instructions for Lemon Chicken Rice Soup call for tempering, and it's easily done. The video below shows you how. 












Lemon Chicken Rice Soup


Ingredients:

  •     6 cups chicken broth;, homemade or bought
  •     1/3 cup rice, long grain, uncooked
  •     1/3 cup carrots, diced
  •     1/3 cup celery, chopped
  •     1/4 onion, finely chopped
  •     1 cup chicken, cooked, cubed
  •     2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  •     2 Tablespoons flour
  •     3 eggs
  •     3 Tablespoons lemon juice, Fresh if possible
  •     Salt and Pepper to taste
  •     Lemon slices, to float on top (optional)
  •     Green onions or parsley, chopped and fresh.

Preparation:

  1.  In a large sauce pan combine chicken broth, rice, carrots, celery and onion.
  2.  Bring to a boil.   
  3.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender.    
  4.  Stir in cubed chicken and remove from heat.
    Next make a roux (thickener) as follows:
     5.  Melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan.
     6.  Stir in flour, cook for approximately 1 minute until smooth and bubbly, stirring constantly.
     7.  Gradually stir in 2 cups of the broth mixture and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
     8.  In a small bowl, beat eggs until foamy.
     9.  Gradually beat in lemon juice and 2 cups of thickened broth mixture.
   10.  Slowly add egg mixture to broth mixture remaining in large saucepan, stirring constantly.
    11. Heat gently until soup thickens enough to coat a spoon, stirring frequently.
    12. Do not boil.
    13. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
    14. Garnish with lemon slices, green onions or fresh parsley.


 I hope you try my version of this light, lemony chicken rice soup. Enjoy!









Friday, April 24, 2015

Ruth Cox Poetry and Prose: Heavyhearted Resting Place

Ruth Cox Poetry and Prose: Heavyhearted Resting Place: We often feel heavyhearted at the emotional ordeal of letting go of things we hold dear. We can let go when we know that a thing represents ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Making Homemade Chicken Broth






So many of our recipes these days call for chicken broth. I prefer to make my own and freeze it for future use, rather than using the canned variety. I usually make a big batch of it and freeze it in plastic ice cube trays leftover from the days when we needed them. I can then use one convenient cube at a time, to make soup or other dishes calling for chicken broth. If I need extra ice cube trays, I can get them from Amazon, along with a Dutch Oven, and a Fat Skimmer.

More Flavorful Broth

Why would you want homemade? The primary reason is the flavor is much better than the canned variety. Not only that, but YOU control the amount of salt and seasonings that go into the making. For me that's a win-win situation, since I've cut down on my salt intake over the past few years.

Economical Use For Extra Chicken Parts.

Make the most of those pieces of chicken that most people don't eat. Use the boney pieces like backs, necks and wings to make your chicken go farther. This recipe starts with 2 pounds of those parts and makes 8 cups of broth. If you want to make a larger batch, save the parts from several chickens, and double the ingredients. When frozen, each cube will measure approximately 1/4 cup, depending on the size of your ice cube trays.


Ingredients

    2 pounds chicken backs, necks and/or wings
    8 cups water
    2 onions, quartered
    1 cup coarsely chopped celery, including leaves
    1/2 cup sliced carrots
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
    1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt (I use Kosher salt; lower sodium)
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 Bay leaf

Instructions

    In a large (5-quart) Dutch oven, combine chicken and water.
    Bring to a boil.
    Reduce heat; simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.
    Skim scum from surface.
    Add remaining ingredients except 1/2 teaspoon salt; and simmer on low, partially covered for 4 hours.
    Remove bones; strain.
    Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
    Cool uncovered in refrigerator.
    Skim fat from the top of broth after cooling.
    Pour broth into ice cube trays and freeze.
    Once they're frozen, pop them out and put into freezer bags and refreeze.

When your recipe calls for chicken broth, remember that each cube measures about 1/4 cup of broth. Just pop in however much your recipe calls for.