Slow-Simmered Chicken Soup

Here in the Pacific Northwest there are still soup days this time of year. And there’s still soup club at work! This week was not my week to bring veggie soup, so I made this chicken soup with wild rice instead:

I decided to go the whole nine yards with this one. With a huge amount of help from Dave, this soup’s stock was simmered with chicken legs over most of a day, then carefully strained for the bones. The bone stock makes such a big difference.

Let’s talk about broth and stock for a bit before we get started. Stock is made with bones, so there is no such thing as vegetable stock. Just vegetable broth. Broth is not made with bones, and that is OK. In a slow-simmered soup, you really want to go with a stock, and dark meat, which contains more fat, is also better for soup, because fat = flavor. It is worth the work and the slightly higher amount of fat.

Here’s what you need:

5 quarts of water
Six chicken legs
1.5 cups of wild rice
5 carrots
4 ribs of celery
3-4 garlic cloves
1 white onion
Salt and Pepper
A bit of vegetable oil

Start with a large stock pot, and dice all of the vegetables and salt them heavily. Sweat them for a few minutes in the bottom of the stock pot in the vegetable oil.

Next, add the raw chicken and cook with the vegetables still in the pot. When the chicken is cooked through, add the water and cover.

Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer on the back burner for 5-6 hours.

In the last hour of cooking, add the wild rice. Bring back up to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking.

Before serving, strain and make sure to remove every single bone. This soup gets better with age, so enjoy the leftovers, too!


  1. Here’s what I never know about soup with rice in it. Do you put in uncooked rice, or do I cook it first and then add it?

    Comment by Lauren — May 2, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  2. I put the uncooked rice in for the last hour of cooking, and did not cook it ahead of time. However, if you were wanting to use some leftover cooked rice (or just had some handy) I have added it to soup many times :) Either is OK!

    Comment by bekky — May 2, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

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