Happy week-after-Thanksgiving! We hope you had a wonderful and gluten-free holiday...no matter where or how you celebrated. One thing I love about Thanksgiving (and other similar holidays) is the tradition - the ritual of it all, the familiar and annually-recurring foods, the coming together of family and friends. Sure, some of the minutae change from year to year. But in the grand scheme of things, there's a wonderful constancy to Thanksgiving (especially set against the backdrop of an otherwise ever-changing world).
Of course, one of the huge constants - aside from the holiday itself - is the leftovers. I, for one, have been eating turkey at least once a day every day since Thanksgiving. The end is in sight, but it's still distant. While I haven't yet lost my craving for re-warmed turkey with gravy, there will come a time (likely, very soon) when I'll want to use the leftover turkey in a more creative way that repurposes the remaining tasty meat. Which brings me to today's blog post and recipe: chicken and brown rice soup.
Kelli originally conceived this recipe weeks ago as an alternative or variation to the Chicken Noodle Soup recipe in our cookbook (page 69). But you could also take the following recipe and use turkey in lieu of chicken. More on that in a moment, after the recipe:
5 chicken legs
2 cups GF chicken stock
1/2 onion, diced/chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced/chopped
1/3 cup brown rice
salt and pepper
1. Place the chicken legs, onion, pepper, and chicken stock in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for about two hours.
3. Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the chicken legs from the broth and set aside until they're cool enough to handle.
4. Pick the meat off the legs, discarding any skin, fat or bone. Shred the meat, and return it to the broth in the pot.
5. Add the brown rice to the pot, and simmer for an additional hour, until the rice is tender.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
While our original cookbook recipe uses an entire quartered chicken to make the soup, here in this cookbook variation we've used just the legs (which were on sale at our grocer and dirt cheap). To compensate for the lack of a whole chicken carcass, which would impart much of the flavor to the soup, we've "fortified" the broth with the two cups of GF chicken stock.
Now, as for using turkey leftovers... If you have leftover carved meat (white, dark or both) you can substitute it for the chicken legs as well as decrease the initial cooking time, since you don't need to cook raw meat from scratch. However, the flavor of the broth will be more mild without the benefit of the bones and fat that would otherwise simmer for two hours. On the other hand, if you still have your whole turkey carcass, you could put that to good use (and scale up the quantities of other ingredients accordingly) to make a large pot of turkey soup with bolder flavor. Either way, you'll have a tasty way to use up some of the leftover turkey sitting in your fridge!