Cold/Flu Chicken and Rice Soup
It is cold and flu season, and variations of chicken soup are always appreciated during this time. Today, I am sharing a Chicken and Rice Soup.
A while ago, I found a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for Lighter Chicken and Dumplings. In this recipe, they specifically use bone-in chicken wings because they contain a high amount of collagen. Collagen is a type of protein found in the body of both humans and animals. As you age, collagen production decreases, but you can supplement it in many ways by drinking bone broth or adding it to your drinks in powdered form. There are many claims of health benefits from improvements in your hair, skin, nails, to joint and digestive health. In addition to their health benefits, collagen also acts as a thickener to soups and stews. It makes the soup creamy without actually adding any cream. It is a double win, health benefits and it feels like your eating a really creamy soup.
I also added several other flavors in the forms of turmeric, garlic and ginger. Turmeric is known to be an anti-inflammatory due to it containing a large amount of curcumin. It adds a really pretty yellow color to soups and stews. This soup contains lots of garlic. Garlic is known for providing excellent anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant benefits. Ginger is known for it’s anti-nausea benefits and adds such great flavor. I wanted to add all of these small but flavorful and powerful ingredients to this soup to make a perfect cold/flu fighting comforting meal.
I made this soup with brown rice, I think it holds up better in the soup than some of the other rices I have tried. Brown rice stays relatively firm while others, I felt, did not. If you have any of this soup left over, the rice will absorb the broth over time so you will have to add additional broth when you serve it again.
We are keeping this soup on rotation during cold and flu season around here, and I hope you enjoy it.
1 lb chicken wings
2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed or skin removed
1 yellow onion, diced
5 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup parsley
3 cups spinach
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper
- In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat.
- Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place chicken thighs skin side down in pot and cook for 5-7 minutes, until skin is golden brown and easily releases from the pot. Turn thighs over and cook for another 5-7 minutes on the other side. Remove the thighs from the pot and place them on a paper towel lined plate. Discard excess fat from the pot.
- Using the same pot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot. Add onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 7-9 minutes until beginning to soften. Add garlic, ginger and turmeric and saute for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add 8 cups of broth to the stockpot/dutch oven. Bring the broth to a boil.
- Once the broth is at a boil, add chicken thighs and chicken wings and cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, add brown rice to the pot. Simmer the soup for another 35-40 minutes with the lid on.
- Once the rice is cooked, you can remove the chicken thighs and wings from the pot. Once the thighs are cool remove the meat from the thighs and return it back to the soup. Be careful of any tendons, the thighs cook so long that they fall apart easily. You can also add the wing meat, I did not, because there was so little of it.
- While the thighs are cooling, you can skim any additional fat from the top of the soup you may not want.
- Add the spinach, parsley and lemon to the pot. Stir well to help the spinach wilt.
- Season with any additional salt and pepper to taste. The amount of salt will depend on how salty your broth was.