Now that my baby brother (yeah, he’s almost 20, but he’s still my baby) has moved into an apartment, I feel officially old. I often worry about if he’s eating well. What can I say, I guess it’s the Polish woman in me! I recently decided that it would be a good idea to make larger than normal quantities of our dinner once per week, and freeze it in individual portions for him. The first week, it was this Italian-style meat sauce. I know college guys can make pasta, so I thought that would be a good starting place. Last week, I decided on this soup from Pioneer Woman. It was a spectacular dinner, and was equally as good when I reheated the leftovers for lunches. Ben said this was his favorite of all the soups that I make – definitely a winner! I wasn’t expecting anything superb, but I thought this was really great. The combination of vegetables and the buttery roux gave this a nice, comforting flavor. The bouillon cubes and food coloring won’t win you gourmet status, but you won’t care when your belly is full of this yummy stuff :)
Chicken and Rice Soup
1 cup white rice
2 chicken breasts
2 quarts water
8-10 chicken bouillon cubes
6 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. flour
¼ – ½ cup onion, diced
¼ cup green pepper, finely diced
¼ cup celery, finely diced
1 jar pimentos, drained (about ¼ cup)
yellow food coloring (optional)
Cook white rice according to package directions, omitting any salt, until the water is just absorbed. Set aside.
Place chicken breasts in a large stockpot and cover with 2 quarts water. Add in bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool a bit. Roughly chop chicken and set aside.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Stir in flour to make a roux. Continue cooking for a minute or so, until heated. Add the roux to the broth and stir until well combined. Rinse out the skillet, and then melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, green pepper, celery and pimentos to the skillet. Cook until slightly tender. Add in the chopped chicken pieces and stir until well combined. Stir in cooked rice to taste. Add in a couple drops of yellow food coloring, if desired.
Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman