Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

Here's a short story to start the post...the medical diagnosis I have has no medical treatment, really, and they recommend diet modification for symptom control...and they say to eliminate the Big 8...shellfish, gluten, dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and....I forget the last one but you get the idea, and also you can see that I am not all the way compliant with that list...maybe fish is actually 2 of the things.  When I got the diagnosis, I was like, well, I already don't like shellfish, so there's 1...and I was already mostly dairy-free by then, so that's 2.  I decided to give up gluten and see what happened and how my symptoms reacted.  I had really good luck with doing that.  I'm mostly soy-free, too, except in a couple prepared foods I use (the GF pretzels I like have soy in them).  I have peanut butter like every day (right off the spoon) so I'm glad I didn't really have to give that up (yet).  My husband's friend is our (very close) neighbor, and he gave us this cookbook for Christmas called Pure Delicious and guess what?? It has none of the Big 8 allergens in any of the almost 200 recipes! That's crazy and I #1 can't believe there could be a whole cookbook with good recipes with those restrictions and #2 that I would mark SO many recipes from it to try!  I was skeptical in reading the cover, but there are good chapters at the beginning setting it up, and then all these awesome recipes.  You'll see as we go along.  After being GF for over 2 years, I have been able to modify almost any recipe I see and like the looks of, but this book will eliminate that step for me, even if some of the prep times are longer.  Incidentally, this is the first GF cookbook that doesn't say you have to use their GF flour blend for the baked goods...I thought that was weird ha.

Okay so this is the first recipe we've had from this book.  It seemed like a good introduction, since it's basically chicken & rice soup with a twist.  We had this with GF Bisquick biscuits, which I tend to make pretty often because they come together so well and everybody eats them.

Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup
 ¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 lg carrots, thinly sliced
2 lg bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup long-grain white rice
zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from the 2 zested lemons)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
kosher salt

In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until soft and tender, 5-7 minutes.  Add the celery and carrots and cook 2-3 minutes more.

Add chicken breasts and broth.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Transfer chicken breasts to a plate and let sit until just cool enough to handle.  Shred the chicken meat, discarding bones and skin, add the meat to the pot along with the rice.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley and stir well.  Season with salt and serve hot.

Note: if the soup gets too thick (the rice absorbs the liquid), add some water and more salt as needed. (that's her note, not mine)

I was running out of time, since it's a church night, so while the chicken was cooking, I made the rice in my rice cooker, so once the chicken was done and shredded, I just added the rice and other ingredients and we could eat it right then.  It cut down on the prep time.  Which I always think is good.  I also already had boneless skinless chicken breasts, so that's what I used instead of buying the chicken it said to use.

This smelled so good.  The youngest didn't eat it, but he wasn't feeling well so we can't go by that.  He probably wouldn't have liked it anyway though because that's how he rolls.  Everyone else liked it.  There's enough left for us to have for leftovers for work.  Easy, yummy, and a good introduction to the recipes in this book :) 

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