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Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

This simple and healthy chicken soup recipe is filling, easy to make, and only involves a small handful of ingredients! It's a spin on classic chicken noodle soup, and is especially perfect for warming up in the cooler months.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people (approx.)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bone-in skinless chicken breasts (about 3 medium sized breasts)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, (about 1 cup) diced
  • 1/2 of a cinnamon stick
  • 7 cups low sodium chicken stock or water * see notes
  • 1/2 cup short-grain rice, rinsed well and drained ** see notes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • Season your chicken breasts with a pinch of salt on both sides, and set aside.
  • In a large pot, combine olive oil and butter. Place the pot over medium heat to melt the butter and heat the oil. Once heated, add your chicken to the pot. Sear the chicken for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked at this point.
  • Transfer your chicken to a plate, and set aside. If needed, add another tablespoon of olive oil to your pot. Add your diced onion, along with the remaining salt. Still on medium heat, cook the onion until it turns translucent (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot (excluding the parsley) along with the cooked chicken. Turn your heat up to high, and bring the soup up to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer your soup for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice and chicken are fully cooked, and your carrots have softened.
  • Take your chicken out and shred it, discarding the bones. Return the shredded chicken to the soup, along with the parsley. Stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed. Remove the cinnamon stick, and serve! *** (see notes)

Notes

* Chicken stock adds more flavor to the soup, but this soup goes just as well with plain water! If you do use all water, there are a few tweaks I would recommend so you get a nice color to the soup and an easy boost of flavor! First, let the chicken brown a bit longer so it turns a deep golden brown. Second, while cooking your onions, let them caramelize and brown on a low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. I've made this soup hundreds of times with water, and I always make these changes if I don't have chicken stock on hand. Works out perfectly!
** I like to use short-grain rice because it releases more starch and helps thicken the soup. I also prefer the texture here because it blends into the soup more nicely than long-grain rice. But long grain rice will still work.
*** Make sure to remove the cinnamon stick as soon as you're done cooking the soup. Leaving the stick in the liquid can cause the soup to get too much cinnamon flavor!