It’s that time of year again where many people in many regions are chilled to the bone and looking for a delicious, warm, inviting, comfort food of hearty soup. Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is such a wonderful comforting winter menu item combining all white chicken meat, non-GMO wild rice blend, celery, onions, carrots, chicken broth, half and half cream, crème fraîche and wonderful herbs and spices to warm your hungry tummy this winter.
I love food history, myths, and legendary tales; you never know what you’ll find out next about your favorite ingredients. I have become known among friends and family as a storage bank of food information and facts on my favorite ingredients. In February, I made a hearty mug of fabulous comforting ingredients, such as our topic of the day, Wild Rice.
A few tidbits on our ingredient, “Wild Rice”
- Did you know that; the Ojibwa and Sioux Indians of Minnesota call it “Mahnomen”? However, early French explorers in Minnesota and Canada called it “Folles Avoines”.
- Guess what? Wild rice isn’t technically even rice at all. Wild rice is an aquatic cereal grain with a biological technical name of Zizania Aquatica.
- Manominikegississ is their August Moon, aka rice-harvesting time.
How is wild rice harvested?
Wild Rice harvesting is a process that modern technology still hasn’t been able to touch. The rice is still harvested the same way as it was years before. It is usually done in a low-sided wooden boat. One person “poles the boat” through the rice beds, while another person in the boat knocks the rice kernels off the stocks and into the boat using two long sticks, with one hand they bend the plants over into the boat while holding the plant down, they then knock the kernels off into the boat. Afterward, the wild rice is processed, hulls are removed, cleaned of any debris, dried, and then bagged to be sold at the markets.
Tips to remember about Wild Rice
- Wild Rice should be stored in an air-tight container placed in a cool dry place. Uncooked wild rice will keep up to 7 years in a dry, airtight container.
- Always remove any debris from the wild rice before cooking.
- When cooking add 3 cups of water or favorite broth for every 1 cup of wild rice.
- One cup of raw wild rice will nearly become 3-4 cups of cooked wild rice.
- Wild rice is a fabulous menu item served hot, warm, or chilled.
- Wild rice that has been cooked actually will freeze with minimal damage to it upon thawing to use.To save time, keep a supply of cooked wild rice on hand. Just cook a large portion ahead of time and freeze in small portions. It will store up to six months in the freezer.
- To thaw frozen wild rice quickly, place in a strainer and either run hot tap water through it or place over a steaming kettle. The wild rice will be ready to be used in just a few minutes.
- When cooking wild rice replace water with chicken broth or vegetable broth for a delicious added flavor.
- Microwaving isn’t recommended when cooking wild rice as it seems to break down the wild rice and not cook it.
- To reheat wild rice that you have stored in refrigerator cooked; add a bit of unsalted butter to skillet or sauce pan and cook on lowest heat setting to reheat the wild rice.
Continue to recipe for Chicken and Wild Rice Soup–>
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