This simple chicken, tomato and rice soup is a quick and satisfying meal. Versions of the dish add cream. Using white meat, chicken breast or tenders cuts the cooking time, but be sure to cook the chicken gently and slowly to retain a tender texture.
2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into 5 mm (1/4 in) cubes
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
150 g (5 1/2 oz or 3/4 cup) white long-grain rice
1450 ml (49 fl oz /6 cups) water or
Chicken Stock (recipe below)
840 g (1 lb 14 oz/4 cups) whole canned tomatoes, puréed, or diced fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon salt
670 g (1 1/4 lb) chicken breast or tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
Heat the chicken fat or oil in a large pot over a medium–high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3–4 minutes until the onions begin to become translucent.
Add the rice and stir to coat in the fat. Stir in the water or stock and tomatoes and season with the salt. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 10–12 minutes until the rice is tender. Increase the heat to low–medium, stir in the chicken and cook for 3–4 minutes until cooked through. The low heat will keep the chicken tender.
Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Single Chicken Stock
Makes 1.7 liters (57 fl oz/7 cups)
2.25 kg (5 lb) chicken bones
about 3.8 liters (128 fl oz/4 quarts) water
Place the chicken bones in a 5.7 liter (6 quart) stockpot and fill with just enough water to cover the bones. Bring to a rapid simmer over a high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to medium and simmer slowly for 6–8 hours until the stock is rich, reduced and flavorful. If the stock simmers too briskly, the fat will emulsify into the stock, rendering it greasy. If the stock reduces too quickly, add some extra water. This should not be necessary. Ideally, the stock will reduce by one-third to one-half when cooking slowly. As the stock is simmering, use a spoon or ladle to skim off and discard any foamy, dark impurities that rise to the top.
Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large, heavy-duty plastic container. Pour the stock through the sieve into the container and discard the chicken bones and any debris. If your sieve is not finely meshed, line the sieve with dampened cheesecloth (muslin) to catch any fine debris. Transfer the stock to airtight containers and refrigerate until cool. When the stock is cold, remove the fat by carefully scooping it from the top with a spoon.
Use the stock as is, or gently warm to melt it and package in airtight containers for freezer storage. To store the stock, refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.
To make a rich double chicken stock
Make the single chicken stock recipe with chicken stock instead of water and follow the same procedures as single stock. This will yield a richer blond stock.
To make a roasted rich brown chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lay the chicken bones on the prepared baking tray in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Use the roasted bones in the single chicken stock recipe to make a darker and richer stock.
To make chicken stock in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker
Makes 2.8 liters (95 fl oz/3 quarts)
1.35 kg (3 lb) chicken bones
If a very clear stock is desired, place the chicken bones in the canister of the Instant Pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cook at a gentle simmer for 4–5 minutes, then strain the water. Add 2.8 liters (95 fl oz/3 quarts) water to the canister and lock the lid in place. Set the timer for 2 hours on pressure cook with slow release. When the stock is done, strain through a fine-mesh sieve and store in airtight containers.
Reprinted with permission from The Chicken Soup Manifesto. Copyright © 2020 by Jenn Louis. Published by Hardie Grant.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. And, when you donate, you'll become a member of The Splendid Table Co-op. It's a community of like-minded individuals who love good food, good conversation and kitchen companionship. Splendid Table Co-op members will get exclusive content each month and have special opportunities for connecting with The Splendid Table team.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table and you'll be welcomed into The Splendid Table Co-op.