Tag Archive | Chicken

Chicken Soup–for the Soul?

I hadn’t been planning on writing about this but was inspired to put “pen to paper” (fingers to keyboard & manipulate a “mouse”) by a posting at Stella’s Place here:

Cooking with vegetables – something new, something different

Stella asked “Are you cooking up any new dishes? Or an old favorite that will be new to us?”  So here is my reply:

Valerie Curren says:

March 12, 2018 at 6:37 am

  • I just made a large pot of soup based on items we had around–chicken scraps (cut from chicken breasts used in another recipe), a whole boneless chicken breast, & several pieces of chicken (legs & wing) that one of my kids brought home from their restaurant job & I’d had in the freezer.

    My son made several boxes of mac & cheese the other day & we’d saved that pasta water (that I’d later poured back in his mac & cheese pot to scrape off the flavorful residue). There was a partial can of chicken broth from a recipe my daughter made a few days ago & some veggie scraps. All of that went into a pot & cooked for an hour or so. I pulled all the solids from the pot & deboned, de-fatted, & de-grissled the meat giving scraps to a happy dog & cut the chicken into smallish pieces. I also broke the large bones in half & returned to the pot to fortify the stock with the marrow. From the veggie scraps I salvaged what was edible (like the soft interior of fibrous broccoli stems) & returned that to the pot.

    Then I added chopped fresh veggies that we had on hand (potato, carrot, & onion) & cooked until those were cooked through. When heating to serve I added a can each of corn, mushrooms, & diced tomatoes along with some chopped garlic. Then we threw in some wine left over in the fridge & cut up some spaghetti from a recent meal into bite size pieces & added it at the end just to heat through. I added a lot of garlic salt, freshly ground pepper, & various Italian spices (including rosemary, sage, thyme, & basil). We had this soup with grilled (meat for some &) cheese sandwiches. Most of my family really liked the soup as is. I thought it needed a bit more seasoning, but then perhaps my taste-buds are changing with age.

    This was completely experimental soup loosely inspired by some that my mom makes & the Olive Garden’s pasta fajoule (sp?). It’ll probably never be repeated exactly…& this is the closest I’ll come to recording it. It’s not as fanciful or flavorful as my grandma’s “garbage soup” made from various kitchen scraps she’d accumulated over time (everything she made was Amazing–my cooking is adequate–my husband is the food genius of our family!) but based on the principle of not letting usable food go to waste. I’d wanted to add celery but someone had pitched the few stalks we’d had left. I also wish I would have added some fresh garlic, but by that point my back hurt so I settled for the residue from the jar. This was the first pot of soup I’d ever made that was seasoned in a more Italian manner…One of twins just had his first bowl & said it was “really good”. He only added some garlic salt & crushed red pepper to his taste. I guess around here that constitutes success!

    from a bing.com image search for chicken soup

    So I’m attempting to add further info here & can’t figure out how to get out of the list format & align this writing to the left margin–sigh…I’m not at all tech savvy & definitely a work in progress.

    I just wanted to add that it felt good to provide a nourishing meal for my family, a labor of love in an area that is not really my strong suit.  It is a blessing that they all ended up enjoying this particular chicken soup more than usual & I’m glad that I was able to give my husband a break from meal prep for at least this one day.

    My mother used to call Chicken Soup “Jewish penicillin” & I think she got that term from some Jewish neighbors in her childhood Detroit home.  I remember reviewing both of my parents’ childhood neighbors on the 1940 Census & marveling at the ethnic mix of immigrants they lived amongst–what a glorious patchwork quilt of America.  Perhaps making chicken soup back in that WWII era was a way of taking care of the needs of others & that caring can extend forward from our forbears to our present day.  I made a physical pot of chicken soup but maybe it was just slightly beyond ministry in just the material plane & was actually in a small way Chicken Soup for my Family’s Soul…Blessings!

Crock Pot Pork & Apple Rice Creation

So, for the record, I don’t really enjoy cooking…but of course eating is a treat!  We had a decent amount of pork chops left from a warehouse store purchase and as my husband is out of town (he would normally grill these chops) I needed to come up with a reasonable cooking option (grilling is definitely Not my forte!)…an old family recipe came to mind but since I couldn’t locate my copy of this recipe it was time to pursue the hunt online.

Here are some of the recipes that were going to be possible jumping off points, though at this point they are all runners up since the main dish below was the eventual inspiration for this culinary creativity…so hopefully this will end up being a decent meal for us tonight!

note: there’s a brief “Beef Burgundy” bonus recipe in the comments below too…

Runner Up Recipes for future food foibles & reference:

https://www.reference.com/food/make-pork-chop-rice-casserole-slow-cooker-bc469997a8b596f0?qo=cdpArticles

http://southernfood.about.com/od/porkchops/r/bl40318x.htm

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/6x7ft4l0/pork-chop-apple-casserole.html

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/pork-chop-apple-casserole-50350.aspx

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/km8xl0x1/pork-chop-casserole.html

http://www.cooks.com/recipe/2p4p122t/pork-chop-rice-casserole.html

http://www.yummly.co/recipes?q=baked%20sausage%20with%20apples&&noUserSettings=true

Reading through the above recipes reminded me that cooking is really an inexact process (I have a science background and can be drawn to precision in some arenas).  Combining multiple recipes has enabled me to successfully create my own unique version of a dish with relatively decent success previously, like when I used about a half dozen recipes as reference to get to a lasagna dish that did not require the noodles to be precooked.  If I could have found my little recipe book, from before I was married, this little current adventure wouldn’t have happened, as I would have just adapted that original dish, so once again necessity has made this mother into an inventor!

Image result for necessity is the mother of invention

image from this site, found via a Bing.com image search:

http://www.quotespedia.info/

(I couldn’t get the full URL to paste without just showing the image…)

…but this is also pretty true of me too…

Image result for necessity is the mother of invention

I used the main recipe below as an inspiration then modified it as noted in the comments section of the website:

I found this recipe while searching the web for a recipe similar to one in our family known as “Sausage Apple Bake” (I believe).  This was a one dish oven prepared meal with Pork sausage rolled into balls, apples, carrots, and rice.  I was wanting to use some pork chops, apples, carrots, rice, and onions in a one dish meal that would be similar but couldn’t find any online recipes near to the one from my family.  

The recipe at this website seemed like a good inspiration for cooking creativity using what was available in my kitchen…and it had the added bonus of being a crock pot recipe which is desirable to me since the cooking time is flexible and allows us to have a (hopefully) great dinner without stressing out in the kitchen after a long day.

Here’s how I prepared my version (and since it’s currently cooking the results are pending).  Inspired by my grandma, who often creatively used various leavings in her kitchen to make amazing dishes (using things up is my speed, but there’s no claim here to being an amazing cook–that’s more my husband’s speed!) I added a couple of things randomly available to use them up:

I set the crock pot on high while I prepared items then when everything was in the pot dialed it back to low.

Coated the bottom of the crock pot with some Olive Oil

Layered 1/2 of diagonally sliced carrots (2 large ones used)

1/2 of a medium sliced onion

1/2 cup rice

3 pork chops covered with 1/2 of a dried French Onion Soup mix

another 1/2 cup rice

1 sliced cored apple

repeat pork chops & soup mix

another 1/2 cup rice

another sliced cored apple

repeat carrots & onion

2 pork chops (there were more in the package than expected)

about one Tablespoon of barbecue sauce smeared over the meat

garlic salt & pepper on the top meat layer only

some red wine…a generous half cup, about

about 3 cups of water 

…Since so many of the comments above complained about the rice texture I layered it in the pot to hopefully infuse the flavor throughout this grain but tried to short the liquid a bit attempting to avoid the mushiness of some others’ results.

Hopefully this will turn out to be a hit with the family!

image found via Bing.com image search…original site is at parade.com

By the way, on several occasions I have made a similar crock pot recipe to this original one, only as a form of “Beef Burgundy”.  For that one I usually start with a can or two of mushrooms (or fresh ones if available) using the liquid to replace some of the water.  The meat is some type of beef (or occasionally venison) roast that gets an entire packet of French Onion Soup Mix sprinkled on it.  Then a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup and a Soup Can of Burgundy or another red wine (I’ve made this recipe with chicken and white wine too) with a second soup can of liquid, starting with mushroom “juice” and completed with the wine.  Depending on what’s available in the house I may add fresh onions, garlic, and/or celery to the pot too and some pepper or other seasonings to taste.

This dinner is always a Huge Hit with the entire family and we usually serve it over mashed potatoes, though it also goes well over noodles or rice presumably.  The gravy is super flavorful and the meat falls off the bones to the degree that it rarely needs cutting.  It’s so easy to make and likely time & energy friendly when cooked in the crock pot rather than a conventional oven.

Thanks for posting this recipe…and for the chance to share feedback at your website!

For what it’s worth…I searched for an online image to approximate the new Pork & Apple Rice recipe creation but found nothing very close, but the Beef Burgundy picture above is fairly close to how our version can look–Delish!

UPDATE: VERDICT

Well this didn’t turn out nearly as well as I’d hoped, partially for cooking it too long waiting for family delayed so I’m not sure how much that extra time was a factor.

Like many of the commentators on the source recipe below, the rice texture was problematic for me…it was quite mushy…perhaps due to too much liquid, too much cooking time, or the general poor quality of crock pot rice (in my device?)…needs more data to tease this out.

There was too much grease within the entire mixture, so trimming off most of the excess fat and/or pre-browning the pork chops may have improved this.

The apples were nearly tasteless so really didn’t enhance the dish at all…not sure what variety of apple might have done better here.

The onions, which were cut in long thin slices needed to be completely separated by cutting off more of the base.

The seasoning was inadequate for this dish…likely because there was much more meat than in the original inspirational recipe below.  Since I have often over seasoned things previously (and a family member needs to reduce salt intake) I was erring on the side of caution.

The wine, which was a very noticeable scent during early cooking was nearly undetectable, so not sure how well it enhanced or detracted from this particular trial.

The meat, though not sufficiently seasoned, was of a fine texture and really did fall off of the bones.  This was the highlight of the whole conglomeration.

If I were to attempt anything even remotely similar again I would likely not cook the rice in the crock pot if I wanted anything like normal textured results.  Also it would be prudent to review further comments on similar recipes to see if guidance could be gleaned.

If I were to star my current attempt as is it would likely be a 2 1/2 stars…sub-par…

Slow Cooker Pork Chops And Rice  #50399

A creamy one-dish crock pot meal made with pork chops, rice, onion soup mix, and cream of mushroom soup.

photo of Pork Chops And Rice

ingredients

4 pork chops, or pork steaks
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 can (10.75 ounce size) cream of mushroom soup
2 cups water

directions

If desired, brown the pork chops in a skillet first. 

Add the rice to the crock pot. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the onion soup mix. Evenly place the pork chops over the top or the rice. Spoon the mushroom soup over the pork, then sprinkle the remaining onion soup mix over that. Pour the water over the top. 

Cover, cook on low for 8-10 hours or until done. 

Optional: add one can of sliced mushrooms (drained) on top of the chops.



added by

sheliahryan

nutrition

508 calories21 grams fat48 grams carbohydrates29 grams protein per serving.
from this website: