Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

There are germs floating around my house. We're already one man down so I'm making chicken soup to keep myself healthy. I would hate to miss out on our class backpacking/rock climbing/hiking/caving weekend coming up in a few days!

I can't afford to shop at Whole Foods on any kind of regular basis but I'm certainly not above exploiting their website for recipe ideas. They have a good selection of healthy recipes, vegetarian ones too which come in handy at times. I do get a bit annoyed, however, because sometimes they measure things oddly. Take, for example, a line from the recipe in the link above:

2 tablespoons of chopped garlic.... why can't you just tell me how many cloves to chop? Maybe they are hoping people will buy the pre-chopped kind? I chopped 5 cloves (3 big, 2 smaller) and didn't measure the results. So there.

Ok, that's my rant done now.

As for alterations, I didn't do many to this recipe. I bought a bag brown wild rice (Canoe brand if you care) and the grains look long to me. I used one 900mL box of Campbell's reduced-sodium chicken broth and an additional 2 cups from a box of Campbell's vegetable broth. I used an entire medium yellow onion, not necessarily the prescribed 1 cup. Who wants bits of an onion left over if it measures to be more than you need? Heck, it adds flavour. In it goes. I dug a bag of boneless, skinless chicken thighs out of the freezer and chopped them up without caring how much they weighed. Are you sensing a theme here? If you're keeping track and really care, they weighed just under a pound. The mushrooms only came in a 7-oz package so I chopped them all up.

Hmmm, I just added the 1/4 cup of dried parsley that is called for, but I think they might have meant a 1/4 cup of fresh parsley. My soup looks a little green. Oh well, parsley doesn't have a really strong taste and I'm going to imagine that it's good for me too. Just keep in mind that if you're making this recipe, you might want to consider the parsley issue.

Well, if you're looking for a hearty cold-and-flu-season, I-need-to-stay-healthy-to-go-to-school, feel-good kind of soup, this one seems to do the trick. My version hasn't got a TON of flavour but it's tasty nonetheless. The rice is a nice touch of bulk and the garlic is plenty good for an immune system boost. Soup's on!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

My recipe productivity has slooooooowed.... I do still cook but not a whole lot and if I forget to take a photo, I tend not to blog it. Forgive me the crappy photo in this post.

This recipe was a request from the meatatarian. Although Alberta beef is very good, it's important to have variety too. Besides, the chicken was cheap.

All in all, this recipe is easy to make. I happen to have used the lower sodium stuffing mix because it's a better food choice. The stewed tomatoes came with italian seasoning in them and I finally bought dried basil after confirming for the nth time that I did not have any. Somewhat surprisingly, I actually had mozzarella cheese on hand instead of using whatever random cheese was already in the fridge. I added a bit of extra cheese for the meatacheeseatarian.

The one part I don't like about this recipe is the length of time to cook until chicken is done. I checked it after 30 min which is the initial cooking time suggested. I saw pink meat so I tried another 10 min. Still pink parts! I realize now that a subsequent 15 min was too long - the chicken is cooked but the topping and sides are a bit charred. My mistake.

In the end, the food was still good albeit a little crunchy in places. I'm not 100% sure how much actual time you'd need when cooking this, but I suggest it might be close to 45 min. Enjoy!