Asian Chicken and Rice Soup

I have another great recipe to share with you guys.  I know yesterday I just did a post on chicken and rice soup, but let me tell you, this one is TOTALLY different.  I got this recipe years ago from a coworker, and we all loved it.  Not just because it was a little different than your classic chicken and rice soup, but because it was so naturally gluten free, and also very inexpensive to make.

Here’s the original recipe (see my modifications at the bottom):

  • 1 cup plus 2 T long grain rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 2-1/2 T gluten free Asian fish sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T salt, more to taste
  • Ginger to taste
  • 2 segments fresh lemongrass

1) Bring rice and water to a boil, then return to a simmer for about 25-30 minutes, until it is porridge-like consistency.

2) Add chicken broth, fish sauce, salt, and sugar to rice, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3) Add ginger and lemongrass, and simmer for 10 minutes more.

4) Add chicken, stir, and remove lemongrass stalks before serving.

Now, I have morphed this into a sort of catch-all whenever we have leftover chicken and rice, so usually I don’t even bother with step 1.  Whenever we have leftover rotisserie chicken, baked chicken legs, really any kind of chicken, I save the bones and make broth.  So I often have broth, leftover chicken, and (of course) rice in my fridge.  I also am not real picky about the measurements, I just kind of throw in whatever rice and chicken I have available, without particularly measuring (I know, not very scientific for all those perfectionists out there).  Sorry, just the way I do things!

This time around, we had leftover chicken from Brad’s parent’s 50th anniversary party. Pardon me while I digress a bit.  We had a FABULOUS party, and the brothers (all 6 of them) went together and got a caterer.  Obviously a concern with multiple GF family members, but our caterer, Dude with the Food, was great about checking all ingredients and providing us with a list.  We had pork BBQ, chicken (seasoned only with salt and pepper), hot dogs, and a few other side dishes.  Not all of it was GF, but the greater portion was.  Then we provided our own desserts.

The party was so much fun, with all the VERY LARGE family together.  We took pictures of Grandma and Grandpa with all the grandkids.  Here are some pix (you will easily be able to pick out my kids by their hair color)!

Here’s Hannah rocking her baby cousin Emmy.

OK, enough digression.  There was a bunch of leftover food, so we all divided it up and took it home.  The chicken had such a delicious flavor.  I don’t know how catered chicken gets so yummy, but even just lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, it had that great smoky flavor, so I cut the chicken off of the bones and made broth with the bones.  Then today, I made this soup.

I also use dried lemongrass.  We don’t have an Asian food store nearby enough to quickly grab lemongrass, and I almost always make this soup as an afterthought, so I buy dried lemongrass from McCormick and add that.  I get my ginger from the health food store (one of the few shortcuts I invest in).  It comes in a cute little jar for $2-something, and it is so much easier to spoon it out of the jar, than to try to peel and grate fresh ginger.  And if I am using the dried lemongrass, I put it in the broth to begin with, not just in the last 10 minutes.  The KAME fish sauce states it is processed in a facility with wheat, but the ingredients themselves are gluten free.  Use your discretion when purchasing. There are some brands that are labeled gluten free as well.

Today it got just phenomenal.  This soup is always good, but today, with that smoky flavored chicken, it was absolutely delicious and so flavorful.  So good that I had to share it.

Thanks Devon for the original recipe!

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