Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

When my friend, Julie of Hostess at Heart, posted this mouthwatering soup, I knew that I had to make it for my mushroom-loving Thanksgiving guests. (My family!) It was very well received. 🙂

I adapted the recipe by cooking the wild rice on the stove top in an enameled cast iron pot instead of in the oven. I made it in advance and froze it without any issues. It was earthy, full-flavored, and absolutely fabulous.

Yield: Serves 12

  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 
2 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, plus 8 additional cloves, minced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 0.4 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms (I used a combination of dried portobello & shiitakes)
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 24 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium or 1 1/2 large yellow onions, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 T light soy sauce
  • 6 T cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 6 T minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish, optional
  1. Bring water, thyme, bay leaf, 2 garlic cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and baking soda to boil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and return to a boil. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
  2. Cover saucepan and cook over low heat until rice is tender, about 55 minutes.
  3. Strain rice through a fine-mesh strainer set in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup; discard thyme, bay leaf, and garlic. Add enough water to reserved cooking liquid to measure 4 1/2 cups.
  4. Grind shiitake mushrooms in a spice grinder until finely ground. (You should have about 4 1/2 tablespoons.)
  5. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.
  6. Add cremini mushrooms, onions, minced garlic, tomato paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.
  7. Cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and dark fond develops on bottom of pot, about 15 minutes.
  8. Add sherry, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until reduced and pot is almost dry, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add ground mushrooms, reserved rice cooking liquid, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until onions and mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes.
  10. In a small bowl, place 6 tablespoons of simmering liquid from pot and whisk in the cornstarch.
  11. Stir cornstarch slurry into soup, return to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  12. Remove pot from heat and stir in cooked rice, cream, chives, and lemon zest.
  13. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Fancy Chicken Tetrazzini

This was unlike any tetrazzini I’ve ever eaten. It was fancy! (for a rotisserie chicken casserole, anyway 😉 ) It’s probably not technically “tetrazzini,” but it was a smoky, full-flavored, and delicious comfort food dish. An upgrade.

The New York Times explained that this dish takes its name from the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini. It was once commonly found on menus in upscale restaurants during the early 20th century. (Who knew?) It has since become less fancy (until now!) and less Italian. 🙂 I loved the title of their article, “Chicken Tetrazzini, The Casserole Even Snobs Love.” I love all sorts of casseroles, so I suppose this fact confirms that I’m not a snob. 🙂

This recipe is from The New York Times, adapted from Mississippi chef Brad McDonald, contributed by Sam Sifton. I adapted the recipe further by increasing the garlic and by using mixed dried wild mushrooms as well as whole wheat pasta.

I’m bringing my fancy and snobby casserole to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #144, co-hosted by Suzanne @A Pug in the Kitchen and Margy @La Petite Casserole. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (I used a mixed wild dried mushroom medley including porcini, shiitake, black, & oyster mushrooms)
  • 4 medium-size poblano peppers
  • 5 dried guajillo chiles, ends snipped and seeds discarded
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade or low-sodium
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium-size shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (I used 3-year aged white Cheddar)
  • 1 pound spaghetti, preferably whole wheat
  • 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken, the meat removed and shredded, approximately 1 pound
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped, for garnish, optional
  1. Turn broiler to high, and set a large pot filled with salted water over high heat to come to a boil.
  2. As oven heats, place the mushrooms in a small bowl, and pour boiling water over them, then leave them to soak for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, then strain and set aside.
  3. Place the poblanos on a small sheet pan, and set on the highest rack under the broiler so that the skin blackens, turning a few times so that the roasting is even, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When the skin is blackened and blistered all over, place the peppers in a medium bowl, cover it with a plate and allow to rest.
  4. Make the sauce. Put the dried chiles in a medium pot set over medium-high heat, and allow them to cook until they become fragrant, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, then turn heat to low, and add the chicken stock, milk, garlic and shallots.
  5. Allow the mixture to cook at just below a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until the chiles have softened.
  6. Remove from heat, and pour into a blender or Vitamix, then add 6 ounces of the grated Cheddar, and process to a smooth consistency. Set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the skin and seeds from the roasted poblanos, and cut them into thin strips. Set aside.
  8. Heat oven to 400, preferably on convection.
  9. Cook the spaghetti in the boiling salted water in the large pot until just al dente, approximately 9 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until cool, then drain again. (This step prevents the pasta from over cooking in the oven.)
  10. Return the spaghetti to the cooking pot, and toss it with the roasted pepper strips, the mushrooms, the shredded chicken meat and the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
  11. Transfer to a casserole dish, approximately 9 inches by 13 inches, and pour the reserved cheese sauce over it.
  12. Cover with the remaining shredded cheese, place in oven and bake until the cheese has melted and started to turn golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
  13. Garnish with chopped parsley, if you like, and serve.

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Hunter’s Chicken Stew

What a fabulous one-pot stew! Wine, mushrooms, garlic, and herbs with (my favorite) chicken thighs. This recipe was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff-favorite” recipe, contributed by Mimi Thorisson. I used a dried wild mushroom blend and bone-in chicken thighs instead of dried porcini mushrooms and a 4-lb chicken cut into pieces; I also increased the shallots and garlic. We ate it with roasted potatoes and Sautéed Haricots Verts with Mushrooms and Scallions on the side. So versatile and delicious.

Bringing this one to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #67  @Fiesta Friday.net. Enjoy!!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed (I used dried mixed wild mushrooms)
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, halved, quartered if large
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Add half of 
the chicken to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and chicken.
  4. Add the onion, shallots, garlic and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and tomato paste and simmer until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, porcini, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
  6. Nestle the chicken in the sauce, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until nearly cooked, about 20 minutes.
  7. Stir in the cremini mushrooms and cook, uncovered, until 
the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes.
  8. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the stew to plates, 
garnish with parsley and serve.

Note: The chicken stew can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently before serving.

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