Whenever I cook a whole chicken, I save the bones and carcase for stock. I put the eaten bones in the freezer until the carcase is bare, unless I pull all the meat off immediately to refrigerate or freeze. If I have no immediate plans for the stock I freeze that straight after I make it.
To make the stock I just put the carcase and bones and scraps in the slow cooker on low for 10 to 12 hours, after which I remove all the solids and separate any useable meat from the rest. I put the meat back into the stock and reheat it before cooling and freezing, or, as in this case, I simply start making soup. If necessary I boost the stock flavour with a pod of stock pot concentrate. Commercial stock is good, but homemade has a better flavour in my view. I don’t season my stock or add onion, herbs or other ingredients until I have decided the use to which it is to be put.
This is an original recipe of my own, intended to be relatively low fat, low GI and “good for me”. It turned out even better than I hoped. It is a hearty meal in a bowl.
I wanted to have a reasonable amount of chicken meat in this soup, and the carcase had been picked quite clean, so I added some boneless thigh which, in my opinion, is the tastiest part of the chicken and does not dry out the way breast tends to do.
I didn’t soak the mushrooms for this recipe, but added them dry. By using them without soaking them first, no flavour is diluted away in the soak water. Some liquid is absorbed by the rice and dried ingredients so the soup thickens up and the flavour concentrates. It pays to delay adding any extra stock pot concentrate or stock powder and not overdo the salt until the soup is nearly done, when you can taste test it before making any necessary adjustments. I keep leftover cooked rices and cooked black beans in the freezer to use in small amounts as required in recipes. It saves time cooking up a batch or opening a can. Beans cooked from dried are not as mushy as canned ones and keep extremely well if frozen.
I did not add much in the way of herbs and spices to this recipe as I did not want to overpower the mushroom flavour.
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 1 continental stock pot or a spoonful of stock powder (if necessary)
- Extra water as required
- 2 boneless chicken thighs cut into pieces
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
- 2 or 3 carrots cut into matchsticks
- 2 celery stalks chopped small
- ½ cup cooked long grain rice
- ½ cup cooked wild rice
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- ½ cup cooked black beans
- A good handful of dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced or chopped
- A dash or two of mushroom soy
- Salt and black pepper
- Peanut oil for frying.
- Fry the onion in oil until lightly caramelised and add to the stock in the slow cooker.
- Brown the chicken meat in the pan and add to the cooker, along with all the remaining ingredients except stock concentrate.
- Cook until the rice is thickening the soup, then taste and adjust flavour by adding stock concentrate and seasoning as necessary.
- If the soup is too thick, add extra water or more stock.