Free-Style Creamy Chicken and Rice.
This versatile creamy chicken and rice is the most delicious kind of magic. It's one of those recipes that is the perfect opportunity to use up whatever leftover meat and veggies are in your refrigerator, transforming them into an amazing meal.
This is one of those dishes I like to call a "bowl and spoon" meal. It's not quite a soup, but also not something you'd eat with a fork. Actually, it could be a soup, if you want it to be. Just add more broth. This creamy chicken and rice can be whatever you want it to be and is a delicious way to use up a variety of meats and veggies hanging out in your refrigerator.
What I'm saying is this: the recipe is more of a guideline than a recipe. Use more or less broth, more or less chicken. If you're making this as a part of Weekly Winter Meal Plan #2, you should have some leftover chicken broth, roast chicken and stewed onions in your refrigerator, reserved especially for this dish. If not, pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local market, use purchased chicken broth, and some sautéed onions and a packet of dry onion soup mix.
If you want to use bacon or sausage instead of - or in addition to - chicken, go for it. Have a mishmash of leftover veggies in your refrigerator? Throw them in. Want to use rosemary or cumin instead of thyme? Be my guest. This creamy chicken and rice is extremely accommodating, magically transforming whatever you have on hand into a delicious meal in no time.
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Weekly Meal Plans that include Creamy Chicken and Rice:Print
This versatile creamy chicken and rice is the most delicious kind of magic. It’s one of those recipes that is the perfect opportunity to use up whatever leftover meat and veggies are in your refrigerator, transforming them into an amazing meal.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup (approximately) stewed onions, left over from French Onion Soup - OR - 1 or 2 yellow onions, cut in half and cut into ¼ inch slices
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
- Approximately 6-8 cups chicken broth
- 12-16 oz roast chicken meat, shredded - OR - about the same amount of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 ½ cups dry rice - OR - 3 cups (approximately) cooked rice, any variety
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ - 1 cup cream or half and half
- Fresh parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)
- Croutons, for serving (optional)
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pan or dutch oven. Add the stewed onions or sliced onions to the hot oil. If using stewed onions, sautéed them in the oil for just a minute or two. If using raw onions, cook them until they are soft and just beginning to turn golden.
- Add the garlic, thyme and dry onion soup mix and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Stir in about 6 cups of chicken broth, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the broth is simmering rather than violently boiling. Add about 1 tsp each salt and pepper.. (*Start with about 6 cups of chicken broth and then add more later if you like to achieve the consistency you're looking for.)
- If using raw chicken, add it to the broth, cover the pot and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through - approximately 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken to a plate, let sit until cool enough to handle, then shred.
- If using dry rice, add it to the broth, cover the pot, and let simmer until the rice is tender. The length of time this will take is dependent on the kind of rice you're using. Refer to the package for cooking times.
- Add the shredded chicken to the broth. If using cooked rice, add that as well. Now is the time to add any other cooked ingredients: leftover ham, pork or beef roast, sausage, bacon, or vegetables. (See recipe notes for suggestions and instructions for adding additional raw ingredients). Add more broth if you like. Let simmer until everything is warmed through. Taste and adjust the amount of salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cream or half and half. Slowly pour into the chicken and rice, stirring constantly. Cook for another minute or two, taste again and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- If you like, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped, fresh parsley is a delicious way to finish this soup. Serve with croutons on the side - also optional.
If you want to add additional raw vegetables to your creamy chicken and rice: Add diced bell peppers, carrots, leeks, or celery a couple of minutes before adding the garlic and herbs in step #2. Sauté along with the onions until beginning to soften. Vegetables like asparagus, peas, and corn are also delicious, but should be added at the end of cooking, right before stirring in the egg yolks and cream. Add them to the soup, whisk in the egg yolks and cream, and allow to simmer for a minute or two, just until soft. Green beans should also be added at the end of cooking, but will take slightly longer to cook. Allow them to simmer for 3-5 minutes before adding the egg yolks and cream.
If you'd like to add raw meats to your creamy chicken and rice: Sauté sausage or bacon in a separate pot or skillet until cooked through, then add along with, or instead of, the chicken. Bratwurst or polish sausage is also delicious in this dish - cook according to the package instructions, then add along with, or instead of the chicken.