I was at the grocery store, with Jack. It was nearly nap time and I knew I had to make it quick. If you’re a momma, I know you’ve totally been there done that!
We needed some meat so I quickly found the organic/pastured section and saw they had chicken thighs on sale for only 2.99/lb. Dang, sweet find! Well, as it turns out, they were the bone in kind. I never really cook with them…like ever. In fact my skills with chicken thighs in general are limited. But I was already home and I never miss an opportunity to learn something new in the kitchen.
I ended up searing the fatty skins in the pan with some salt, pepper and garlic before transferring them to the crockpot. I turned it on high and let them finish cooking for a couple hours (read: until I remembered them between bath time and story time and nursing). I took them out, and poured water over the drippings and crusties left in the crockpot. It was about 2 large mason jars of water, if you wanted to know. I then picked apart the chicken thighs and separated the usable meat from the skin and bones. I set aside the meat and threw the bones back in the crock. I then turned the crock on low and left it to simmer (lid on of course) till the following evening. The bones should break and crumble in your hands with minimal effort. They make fantastic dog treats at this point, FYI. You’re welcome, Fido. I’ll make a post soon about making the best bone broths ever, as it is something I’m pretty passionate about.
At this point I had zero idea what I was going to use the broth for. I just hate seeing bones go unused! But around 8pm the following night I realized two things. We were hungry, and that broth was still simmering. Creamy chicken wild rice had been on my mind for awhile, but I knew our diet didn’t include ‘creamy’ and I figured I didn’t have the ingredients anyways. Well, a quick check of the kitchen and I did actually have some rainbow carrots, and a few onions. But celery….then it hit me. I was growing a ton of it right outside the damn kitchen window. Silly me. I donned Joe’s rubber slippers and armed with some scissors I harvested a good handful, feeling like a champion. No late night grocery store run for me! I freakin GREW IT YO. Lordy I can’t wait to be a farmer!
Anyways, I strained the remaining liquid and set it aside while I chopped veggies. It was about 8pm and I was starving, so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and pre cook the veggies a bit, which also adds flavor if done correctly. My granny was telling me the other day how she likes to microwave her veggies for faster cooking. It took everything in me to not shout in protest at such a horrid idea. It’s too simple and too delicious to do it the right way to ever consider such atrocities. Back to the recipe. Cut up your carrots, celery, and onion and get out your ‘big ass feed the entire neighborhood’ pot. Add some fat of your choosing, butter, olive oil, duck fat, whatever. Dump in your veggies and add your seasonings. I chose salt, cracked pepper on a large grind, a touch of garlic, and some vegetable bouillon for good measure. I wouldn’t normally add veggie bouillon but since the bone broth wasn’t simmered with any veggies I figured what the hell, why not. Cook this mix on high, stirring frequently, and add in your wild rice. Once you notice the onions juuuuust starting to become translucent go ahead and add in your broth you set aside earlier. It’s not going to be enough liquid so add a mason jar of water or two until you’re happy. I tend to make ridiculously thick soups that are like campbell’s- where you need to add a can of water when you heat them up. The beauty of that method is it takes up less space in your freezer! Keep in mind that your wild rice will soak up some liquid too! Bring this concoction to a boil, then reduce to low to simmer with the lid on for about 30-50min, depending on your rice and how much you cooked your veggies. Basically after 3omin just keep taste testing it till you like it. Also I should probably not forget to mention that you still need to add your meat!
This is the part where I tweak the seasoning if needed. Not salty enough is usually my first complaint. But everyone likes their soup a bit different, so experiment with what you like by tasting and adding. Always remember the golden rule of my kitchen though-it is always MUCH EASIER to add than it is to take away! Happy cooking!
Things you’ll need:
- Chicken with bones (or no bones if you have bone broth on hand already)
- A day of simmering in crockpot, or chicken bone broth
- Some type of fat for cooking
- Basic kitchen spices, and/or bouillon
- Carrots, onion, celery
- Box of wild rice, or about 1-2cups
- A big ol pot