Last night I took one of our organic chickens that we bought from the Whole Foods sale for $1.69 lb. out for dinner tonight. I planned on just cooking the chicken slowly in the slow cooker to slice up later but decided at the last minute to turn it into soup. I don’t use a recipe for this. It is a ‘do as you please’ recipe. Here is what I used:
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Wild Rice
- 1 Whole Organic Chicken
To start out, I turn the slow cooker on high heat, then pour in about two or three cups of water. Next, after rinsing the chicken and removing the bag of innards, place the whole chicken in the Crock Pot.
After the chicken hits 180 degrees you will want to pick the chicken off of the bones. This is fairly easy. I use a pair of tongs and have a plate or a bowl next to the slow cooker. If the chicken has cooked long enough, it will separate from the bone easily. Let the chicken cook another 20 or 30 minutes if this isn’t the case for you. I also remove any skin I find.
After removing the skin and bones, you can add more water. The amount of water you add will determine how much soup you will have. I add about six to eight cups or so of boiling water from the teapot. Then I add about two cups of wild rice and 1 cup of barley. It really depends on how ‘rice-y’ you want it. Just remember that the rice and barley will at least double.
* If you don’t have time to wait for the rice to cook, you can cook it in a pan on the stove and then add it when it is done cooking.
Next, saute as much chopped celery and chopped carrots as you would like in your soup. (To saute, just add about 2 tbsp of oil to a hot pan and throw in your celery and carrots.) While your celery and carrots are sauteing, add a few pinches of thyme, rosemary and the two bay leaves. Once the celery has softened up, you can add the saute mixture to the soup. Stir and salt/pepper to taste.
Your Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Barley will be done as soon as the rice and barley are tender. If you cooked the rice on the stove, the soup is done! If you added the uncooked rice directly to the soup, try checking for tenderness after two hours.