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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Book Cooks: Chicken Soup with Rice from Julie Reinhardt

When a writer buddy with a smokin' BBQ restaurant asks you to test recipes for She-Smoke: A Backyard Barbecue Book, YOU DON'T SAY NO.

I mean, I would have to be plum crazy not to want to try Feisty Girl Rub, Cocoa Bliss Rub, Plum-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, or Smoked Beer Can Chicken & Roasted Corn, right?

So when Julie Reinhardt sent me this Chicken Soup with Rice recipe for Book Cooks, I knew I had to post it right away. After all, who doesn't need warm soup on a blustery day?

Even better, Julie was insired by one of our faves at Brimstone Soup and venerated figure in the kidlitosphere: Mr. Maurice Sendak. And if all that creativity in one package were not enough, Julie made a Wordle of her recipe. Here's Julie:


When Holly called for recipes from her writer friends, I immediately knew what to do. I was in the middle of my blog’s Barbecue Leftovers Week, and one of the recipes I’d planned perfectly joined my two passions – children’s writing and barbecue. I decided to save it for Holly’s blog. Perhaps you think these two interests disparate, but not when you have a smoked chicken in one hand, and Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months in the other! Sendak’s Chicken Soup is my favorite of his vast body of work, though of course Where The Wild Things Are is a close second.

This simple recipe will warm your belly and give you energy to write that novel, polish your article, or inspire a new poem. (If not, read Sendak for inspiration!)

Chicken Soup with Rice (is Nice)

½ cup vegetable oil
½ large onion
4 celery stalks
3 carrots
5 cups water
1 ½ cups rice
2 T salt (plus more to taste)
1 T pepper
1 T fresh chopped thyme (or dried), parsley, and other herbs you like.
2 cups pulled smoked chicken (To learn how to smoke a chicken, check out She-Smoke: A Backyard Barbecue Book. You may also use a roasted chicken.)

I make this as a quick “stockless” soup:

Chop onions and slice carrots and celery. Heat a heavy duty pot and add ½ cup oil when hot. Add onion and sauté until it turns clear. Add carrots and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add water.

Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, then turn down to low. Add salt, pepper, and thyme or other herbs you have on hand. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Rinse rice twice, and add to soup. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes until rice is just about done.

Add pulled smoked chicken. (Pulled from the bone and pulled apart into bite size chunks).

Simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with a good, crusty bread. Eat slowly while reading the Sendak’s poems, or mull over what you will write next.

Spouting once, spouting twice
spouting chicken soup with rice


Thanks, Julie!


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