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RECIPE: Chicken Wild Rice Chowder

As a way to promote the Taste of Home cooking show The Daily News is hosting in Greenville Oct. 21, a few of use here at The Daily News got together and tried a few recipes from Taste of Home recipe books available at our office. There were about eight of us that drew categories. I was lucky enough to draw soups! I’ve been wanting to make a soup all year, but soups just weren’t on my summer to-do list, until this came up.

I had a hard time slimming my list of recipes down to one, but finally decided on Chicken Wild Rice Chowder, because 1) I love pretty much anything chowder, and 2) the recipe seemed simple and easy to do. Now, I love to cook, but rarely do I cook for any more than three people. Thus, I decided to double up the recipe, which sometimes can be quite a challenge, at least for me anyway.

Much of this recipe was just prepping the food, cutting the chicken, onion and celery. Usually, this recipe would take only 25-30 minutes to prep, cook and serve, but because I doubled up, it took me an hour. The recipe calls for ready-to-serve long grain and wild rice. Now, I’ve never had “ready-to-serve’ rice. I’ve always made rice the old fashioned way. But lemme tell ya, I’m sold on these ready-to-serve packages. Easy to prep and very yummy! I used Uncle Ben’s ready-to-serve rice packages. One thing you’ll notice is the rice sinks down to the bottom when you add it to the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Don’t worry. It’s OK. Apparently, it’s suppose to do that. It took me a little bit to realize that, as I always fear I miss a step when it comes to trying new recipes.

The only alteration I had when making this recipe was adding a little bit of cornstarch at the end, as it looked a little too soupy and not enough chowder-like substance to it. I added maybe a little more than 1/4 teaspoon and it came out perfect. I would suggest serving this soup with either biscuits or cornbread.

This is a hearty chowder and, to my surprise, more flavorful than I would’ve thought. I was glad that I made a double batch as my coworkers devoured every bit of it, which is a compliment in of itself. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I…well, my coworkers, did.

CHICKEN WILD RICE CHOWDER

(From Taste of Home’s Soups recipe book, page 142)

INGREDIENTS

• 2 cups sliced fresh carrots
• 1/2 cup chopped onions
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
• 2-2/3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
• 1 package (8.8 ounces) ready-to-serve-long grain and wild rice
• 1/4 cup half-and-half cream
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan, sauté the carrots, onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the chicken, rice, cream and pepper; heat through.

Nutrition facts: 1-1/3 cups equal 371 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 99 mg cholesterol, 1,369 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 32 g protein.

Ryan Schlehuber, features editor for The Daily News, loves to cook and try new recipes. He especially loves strolling the aisles of a grocery store to find ingredients where he can make up a recipe on the fly, sometimes with great success and sometimes not so successful. His favorite dishes are cheeseburger pie, taco salad, pasties and sesame seed chicken and rice.

Reviewed by Ryan Schlehuber "Scoop" on 06 August 2014

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