Chicken Wild Rice Soup

chicken wild rice soup

Chicken Wild Rice Soup is one of the first things I started making regularly when I was first married nearly 20 years ago.  It’s a Minnesota classic. I got this recipe from a Byerly’s cookbook that I got as a newlywed.  I adapted it slightly, mainly by adding chicken instead of ham (both taste good, however).

Frugal Tips:  This is a freezer-friendly meal.  Make a double batch and freeze it before you add the half and half.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
 
A Minnesota classic soup
Ingredients
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ C. onion, minced
  • ¼ C. celery, minced
  • ½ C. flour
  • 3 C. chicken broth
  • 2 C. cooked wild rice
  • ½ C. ham, finely diced
  • ½ C. grated carrots
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped sliced almonds
  • ½ C. half and half
  • Chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Saute onion in butter until tender. Blend in flour, gradually add broth. Cook until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil one minute. Stir in rice, ham, carrots, almonds and salt to taste. Simmer five minutes. Blend in half and half, heat to serving temperature. Garnish with chopped parsley.

 

 

 

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken is what my kids usually order when we eat at Chinese restaurants.  By making it at home, we can get our takeout “fix” for less.   Plus, by making it in the crock pot it’s even easier.

If I were to make it again (or if I were cooking for a larger group) I’d probably double the batch.  This version served our family of four with no leftovers.   Now what am I going to eat for lunch today?!

Frugal Tips:  Learn how to make copycat versions of your favorite restaurant foods at home.  It really does help you fight the temptation of blowing your budget by eating out too often!

Crock Pot Orange Chicken
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A crock pot version of your favorite Chinese takeout food! Easy for the busy cook, and easy on the budget.
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ C. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (half the can), thawed
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar

Instructions
  1. Coat the chicken pieces in flour and salt mixture. Brown in olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, combine orange juice, vinegar, ketchup and brown sugar. Place browned chicken in bottom of crock pot, then pour orange mixture over it. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve over rice.

  Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Just mix the ketchup, vinegar, orange juice and brown sugar to create the coating/sauce for your orange chicken.

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Coat all your chicken pieces in flour

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Brown the chicken in a little bit of olive oil

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

Place the chicken in the crock pot and pour sauce on top

Roasted Garlic & Herb Beer Can Chicken

beer can chicken

 Beer can chicken is one of those meals you can’t go without making each summer.  It’s tender, flavorful, and falls right off the bone.  Best of all, it’s easy and doesn’t cost a lot!

I got the whole chicken for under $5 at ALDI.  The seasoning is McCormick’s Grill Mates Roasted Garlic and Herb.  We use our Weber Poultry Roaster for his, but it’s certainly not necessary.  Just stick a can of beer in the cavity of the bird, place on a solid surface (like a roasting pan) and you’re good to go!

Roasted Garlic & Herb Beer Can Chicken
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Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
The beer makes the chicken moist and flavorful!
Ingredients
  • 1 4-lb. chicken, whole
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp. McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb (or other poultry spice)
  • 1 can beer
Instructions
  1. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry. Rub the chicken with the olive oil, then rub with spices. Take a few swigs of beer (you don’t want it to be too full) and place the can in the cavity of the bird, and secure it on a flat surface (like on a roasting pan). Use the legs of the bird as a tripod, or support to keep it stable.
  2. Grill over medium-high heat for 1¼ – 1½ hours. Cover the grill for the first hour of cooking. After that, check the bird periodically to see if it has reached the internal temperature of 160-165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Frugal Tips:  When it comes to preparing a whole chicken, don’t throw ANYTHING away!  You can use the drippings to make a flavorful chicken gravy.  Add a little Wondra and whisk on the stove with a little water until it has thickened.

I also simmer the chicken carcass for about 60 minutes to make homemade chicken stock.  Store them both in zippered containers for future use.

chicken-gravy1

chicken-gravy

chicken stock