I barely got the phone to my ear when I heard a voice on the other end “Let’s make pierogi!” It was my friend Heather explaining that she had dined at a Polish restaurant in Downtown Denver for New Year’s Eve and she wanted to recreate the recipe. I was all in and before we knew it, Heather appeared at our door with two tubs of cheese filling, ten pounds of flour, eggs and New Mexico sparkling wine. Oh, and some Hibiscus flowers.
The sparkling wine is worth mention. It’s Gruet, the winery in New Mexico which turns noteworthy sparkly. We’re big fans. The Hibiscus Flowers in syrup was a gift Heather received for Christmas. Placing a flower in the bottom of the glass of sparkly made for a fancy little treat.
After a few sips we were ready to throw some flour on the counter, paddle up some dough in the stand mixer and start making pierogi. One pierogi eventually turned into 100. We cooked some to taste test and we froze the rest for later. Our fillings were:
- Cheddar, jalapeño and mashed potato
- Home made Ricotta
- Mashed potato and sauerkraut
Heather has blogged about it, so for the recipe, head over to her place for the whole story.
Back to the soup. My All-Clad crock pot has been sitting on the kitchen counter since December 25, shiny, glorious and just waiting to slow cook a delectable treat for a dinner. After my first use of it I’m convinced it was worth the extra dollars. A great addition to my cooking arsenal. I ran out of crock pots this past Summer due to knobs and handles breaking, making them impossible to use…and then there was the drop in the street incident after a pot luck. It was time to step up to a quality unit.
Here’s what I love about this crockpot. You can remove the insert and sear meats or sauté vegetables on the stove top and then transfer it to the slow cooker. This saves cleanup of an additional pan and makes a crock pot more of a one pot event.
For this recipe, I sautéed the carrots, celery, onion and pancetta. I didn’t sear the chicken pieces because I was slow cooking them with wild rice. I thought the wild rice would take longer to cook than seared chicken, so added the chicken raw into the crockpot with the rice.
A little plug for one of my favorite Farmer’s Market Vendors. If you get a chance pick up some of their rice. They offer a wide selection of rice products. This is the first time I used their Wild Rice and it lived up to their reputation for quality.
Decadent and delicious. Creamy and chewy. Savory and simple. What makes this soup special is the addition of fresh rosemary, a bay leaf and some pancetta. We loved this soup and the crock pot worked like champ playing a part in the success of this dish. The roux was made on the stove top and added for the last hour of cooking. And the leftovers have been a continuing treat.
- 1 cup wild rice uncooked
- 2 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size
- 4 slices pancetta rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots cleaned and thick sliced
- 2 stalks celery cleaned and thick sliced
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 small stalk fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 cups half and half or milk
Rinse the wild rice. In a fry pan heat oil over medium heat, add carrots, celery, onion and pancetta and sautee until vegetables are tender and pancetta is mostly cooked. Place the uncooked wild rice, chicken pieces, chicken broth, poultry seasoning, rosemary, and bay leaf in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. The chicken should be cooked through and the rice should be soft. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and let the mixture bubble for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half and half until a thick, creamy mixture forms.
Add this to the rice and chicken in the crockpot and stir to combine. Remove bay leaf and stem of rosemary and serve.
Add extra milk or chicken stalk if necessary to adjust the consistency.
Big on Chicken Soups? Take a look at this one.
Crock Pot Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup … It’s what’s for Dinner.