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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 79° Today's Paper


A cozy chicken soup fit for any season

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This soup is simultaneously cozy and fresh. It’s just the kind of thing you want to eat when you’re sick and seeking something that’ll perk you up and get you through it. The soup simmers long enough for the rice to start to break down so it thickens the soup. If you prefer a brothier soup that’s predominantly chicken and rice floating in broth, cook just until the rice is tender. Or if you want thick porridge, just keep simmering. (You can’t really overcook chicken thighs.) Lemon juice adds brightness, as does the lively mix of parsley, lemon, garlic and celery leaves strewn on top.

Chicken and Rice Soup
• 8 cups chicken broth
• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
• 4 celery stalks, leaves reserved and stalks thinly sliced
• 3/4 cup jasmine rice (unrinsed)
• Salt
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest plus up to 1/2 cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
• 1 small garlic clove
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)

In a large Dutch oven or pot, combine the broth, chicken, celery and rice. Season lightly with salt. (Some broths have more salt than others, so start easy.) Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the rice starts to break down and lose its shape, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop together the parsley leaves, lemon zest and up to 1/2 cup celery leaves. Transfer to a small bowl, grate the garlic clove into the bowl, season with salt and stir to combine.

Using tongs, remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a medium bowl. Using two forks, shred the chicken into pieces, then stir it back into the soup. Remove from heat, stir in the butter (if using), and season to taste with salt. Stir in the lemon juice a little at a time until the soup is bright but still tastes like chicken. (You may not use the full 1/2 cup juice.)

Divide the soup among bowls and top with the parsley-lemon mixture. (The soup, minus the lemon juice and parsley mixture, can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; the rice will absorb liquid as it sits, so add more chicken broth when reheating. Add the lemon juice and fresh herb garnish just before serving.)
Total time: 40 minutes, serves 4-6.

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