Simple and Quick Wild Rice Chicken Soup

wild-rice-chicken-soup

wild rice chicken soup photo by vsimon

A client requested Wild Rice Soup, please. I responded “sure”. Then I searched some of my favorite online recipe sites. Allrecipes.com had a likely candidate, Wild Rice Soup III, submitted by Diane.

It is quick

I adapted it for a pressure cooker, as I often do. Why take an hour to cook something delicious and healthful, when it can be done in 15 minutes?

That is all the time it takes to produce tender wild rice, and really tender chicken breast. To finish the soup, cube the chicken and add more liquid.

It is inexpensive

Bone-in chicken is very budget friendly, as is cooking quickly in a pressure cooker. This is a very useful skill to know. For other recipes, you can shred it (enchiladas), or dice it (salad or casseroles). I am sure you have many other ideas for cooked chicken.

I remove the skin before cooking so the finished dish is less oily. And I still enjoy a few yellow globules of rich chicken fat, just enough for my tastes.

It is simple

Cooking a whole grain and veggies with the chicken streamlines your efforts.

And I often use a frozen blend of onion, celery, and pepper. It goes straight into the pot frozen, no dicing required. You still have to dice the carrots though.

Or you can use any combo of these veggies fresh, to total 4 cups.

Dairy free if need be

This can make a fine broth based soup. Omit the milk and add more water and gluten free flavoring base, or packaged broth. Be sure to read the labels.

Un-pressured soup

Of course, this soup is successful from scratch on the stove top. Those notes are below.

And it is also a good way to use up leftover chicken or wild rice. *chuckle* Most people probably do not have extra cooked wild rice in the fridge. But if you do, you are half way to a steaming bowl of soup.

Cook it once, serve twice, or more

This soup freezes well. So make a big batch, to enjoy now and later.

Wild Rice Chicken Soup in a Pressure Cooker

serves 6 metric measures
1 1/4 pound bone in chicken about .5 kg
10 ounces frozen onion, celery, and pepper blend 280 gm
3/4 cup raw wild rice 135 gm
1 cup diced carrots 130 gm
3 cups water 720 ml
3 cups milk, or more water 720 ml
chicken base, such as Better than Bouillon, optional  

salt and pepper to taste

Remove skin from chicken and discard. Place chicken in the pressure cooker. Add onion blend, raw wild rice, carrots, and 3 cups water.

Lock the top on the pressure cooker and bring to pressure. Cook for 15 minutes.

Cool the cooker by slow release, or under running water to quickly release the pressure if you are in a hurry to eat.

Remove chicken from the cooker. Allow to cool enough to handle. Remove bones and dice chicken.

Add diced chicken back into the cooker. Add milk or water to desired consistency.

Add some chicken base if you want more chicken flavor. I usually add about a tablespoon.

Serve. 🙂

Stovetop directions

Simply put all the ingredients, except the milk in a stock-pot and simmer for about an hour. You will have to babysit it a bit, and add more water. When the chicken and rice are tender, proceed as above.

Please help me choose a pressure cooker

See Make Friends with a Pressure Cooker. Don’t you want a pressure cooker now?

1-5-10 This recipe was submitted to Amy Green’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. This recipe roundup celebrates fabulous healthy food with many tempting entry’s.

Cocoa Cherry Muesli

cocoa cherry muesli

cocoa cherry muesli photo by vsimon

Need some more gluten free gift ideas from your kitchen?

This is a treat, some will say, an extravagant gift. Certified gluten free oats, dried cherries, and almonds are not inexpensive ingredients. But they are healthy, delicious, and combine to make an easy gift. Worthy of a splurge.

What is the difference between muesli and granola?

Both are a combination of grains, usually oatmeal, fruit, and nuts. Very few are made with certified gluten free oats, be sure to check the label.

Most granola for sale has lots, really lots, of oil and sweeteners added. These help to make crunchy clusters, but also add many calories.

Muesli simply means “mixture” in German. Our take on breakfast muesli is less sweet than granola and has no added oils.

Serving suggestions

Your giftee can add their choice of milk in the morning, and watch it magically turn into chocolate milk.

Or they can add it at night and keep it all in the fridge, ready to pull out and enjoy in the morning. This soaked version will be softer, since the oatmeal and cherries absorb the liquid overnight.

Muesli can be served warm too. Simply add liquid and microwave like plain oatmeal.

Cocoa Cherry Muesli

makes 8-9 cups metric measures
6 cups certified gluten free oatmeal 550 gm
1 1/2 cups toasted whole almonds 225 gm
1/2 cup dark brown sugar 100 gm
1/2 cup pure cocoa powder, not cocoa drink mix 45 gm
1 1/2 cup dried cherries 225 gm

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put oatmeal on an 18×12 inch rimmed baking sheet. Or two smaller ones.

Toast oatmeal for about 10 minutes. Stir and bake about 10 minutes more. You may not need to bake this long if using two baking sheets.

Transfer toasted oatmeal to a cool baking sheet, or a large bowl.

Add the almonds, dark brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Stir to thoroughly combine. 

Add cherries and stir just a turn or two. Additional stirring will cause the cherries to pick up brown cocoa coats. This is not bad, but they are prettier unadorned.

When the muesli is completely cool, package in holiday tins. Just add a bow, and give with a smile.

What flavors do you like in muesli or granola?

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies

cocoa meltaways plated

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies photo by vsimon

clockwise: powdered sugar, cocoa and cinnamon, granulated sugar

These were a happy accident last year. It started out as a trial run of a recipe called Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies from Bon Appétit. The ingredients were cocoa, dark chocolate, eggs, a bit of cornstarch, salt and a lot of powdered sugar. No flour, no dairy. I could give it a go.

This is an easy recipe. And I inadvertently made it easier. Well, I got distracted and forgot to add the melted chocolate. It was melted. And still in the microwave, out of sight. I didn’t even notice my mistake until I was making a cup of tea, many hours later.

Not to worry, the chocolate did not go to waste. I can’t say for sure, but it is likely I just spooned it out of the container and into my mouth. I have been known to do that. Hopefully I shared.

According to the recipe, the dough would be very stiff.  Mine was very soft and sticky, more like thick batter. Even then, I didn’t think about forgetting something.

I put the batter in the fridge for a while to see if it firmed up. It did, a little. So I proceeded with the recipe, dropping blobs of batter into powdered sugar, more or less as directed. And baked them as directed.

They are crispy outside, melty and chewy on the inside. And very sweet. You can drop them into a mix of cocoa powder and cinnamon to cut the sweetness. A bit of cayenne would be fun too.

My mistake was worth repeating. But we wondered what we missed with the original recipe. So we made that too. That cookie is rated 4 stars on the Bon Appétit site. Lots of folks like it. But is a different cookie, heavy and dense. And there is a place for that.

This one is thin, crispy, airy, chewy. We like this version so much better.

cocoa meltaways with mug

cocoa melt away cookies photo by vsimon

Cocoa Melt Away Cookies

makes 18 three inch cookies metric measures
3 large egg whites, room temp 150 gm
2 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided use 270
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not cocoa drink mix 50 gm
1 tablespoon cornstarch 8 gm
¼ tsp salt 2 gm

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer two or three cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick foil.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt.

On low speed, add the dry mixture to the egg white mixture. Continue until well blended.

Refrigerate mixture for 20-30 minutes to firm up a bit.

Place remaining powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Drop cookie mixture by tablespoon into sugar, coating generously. This will be messy.

I use two spoons to plop the batter into the sugar. And two more spoons to cover it in sugar. Then I gently pick up the coated batter, and place it on cookie sheets. Give them room, they spread.

You will have some powered sugar leftover. But you need the extra to cover the bottom of the bowl. Otherwise the batter will stick to it. And I don’t mind wasting a bit of sugar.

Bake about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets about 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

Variations

For a darker and less sweet cookie, roll batter in cocoa powder instead of powdered sugar. Sub 1/4 cocoa powder for the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. I don’t like wasting cocoa powder. So I am just  more careful, making sure there is cocoa covering the bottom of the bowl before I drop in the batter. And the cocoa doesn’t coat the batter as thickly as powdered sugar does. So less goes further.

Add some spice. A teaspoon of cinnamon can go into the batter or the coating.

Add some heat. Cayenne or chili powders can also go in the batter or the coating. Add as much, or as little as you like. Sweet and heat is a great combo.

Add some cool. Just a few drops of mint extract added to the batter adds a lot of flavor and scent.

Make it mocha. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the batter. Or grind it fine and add to the coating.

What is your favorite flavor? And do you like it in, or out of your cookie?

Other easy holiday treats you may like are:

Sorghum Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondie’s

Lemon Bars Scroll to the bottom of the post.

Cocoa Bean Brownies

And there is so much more to share!

Custom Choice cereal giveaway

The lucky winner of her own Custom Choice cereal blend is Michelle.

Thank you Custom Choice for a tasty, fun, gluten free product!

Bon Appetite Blogger Holiday Bake-Off

It is still ongoing. Categories include cakes, cookies, custard, pie, and more. Vote for your favorites until December 13.

Your vote enters you to win a Kitchen Technology Center. You can vote in every category. I have already entered Pumpkin Custard, Hold the Dairy. And I will enter Cocoa Melt Aways in the cookie category.

If you are a blogger, be sure to enter a recipe. Elana, of Elana’s Pantry has entered Tart and Tangy Cranberry Bars.

The competition is stiff, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a gluten free winner! Especially in a popular mainstream cooking magazine.

Healthy Eats guest post

Healthy Eats is a blog associated with the Food Network. Last week they published my post of Sorghum Almond Drops, a whole grain, gluten free, dairy free, and egg free holiday cookie.

If you would like to see more gluten free recipes at this very popular healthy cooking blog, please visit the post and comment. I know some of you already have commented there, thank you very much!