Cheap Recipe: Easy Chicken Gumbo

11 Mar

This is recipe #99, making the countdown to RKP’s 100th Recipe Celebration with Jana Kolpen at (1)!

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Easy as pie! I mean, soup!

With Spring just around the corner, I realized this week that there were many more soup recipes I’d been meaning to try my hand at making this winter, and time is running out!

Today’s recipe, Easy Chicken Gumbo, is a great example of how little effort (and money!) it takes to produce a really satisfying meal at the end of a rough day.

Tomatoes and chicken broth make an easy soup base.

Gumbo is also another great reason to slow-cook chicken on the weekends to stock your freezer with. (Click here for easy directions on slow cooking whole chickens and salvaging homemade stock.)

Any veggies will do; just don't forget the okra.

Begin by emptying a large, undrained can of tomatoes (whole, diced, whatever) into a large saucepan. Add 1 can chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock with water) and stir over medium heat.

As soon as broth begins to bubble, throw in one or two handfuls of uncooked white rice to help thicken up the soup.

Don't add the frozen chicken at the same time as the frozen veggies or the rice will never cook!

Sprinkle equal parts garlic powder, onion powder and paprika into broth and add salt/pepper to taste. Mix in 1 package (12 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables and allow soup to return to simmer.

 
 

Go as heavy or as light on chicken as you want.

Chef’s Note: There are several different blends of frozen mixed vegetables these days–some stores even carry specific “gumbo blends.” The goal is to have onions, celery, bell pepper, corn and okra. You can mix and match with potatoes, carrot, lima beans or other vegetables as well.

My store was sold out of their gumbo blend, so I just substituted a plain old mixed vegetable blend and made sure I had plenty of okra. Honestly, as long as you remember the okra, no one will look too closely at anything else.

Once soup is bubbling, stir in about 2 cups (frozen or thawed) cooked chicken. It’s okay if it’s frozen to a solid brick–it won’t stay that way for long once it hits that hot soup. Just be sure to space out additions of frozen ingredients like vegetables or chicken and allow soup to return to full heat between those additions–otherwise, the rice may not cook properly!

Happy little okra wheelies...

Continue to heat over medium burner setting, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes or until rice is thoroughly cooked and chicken is completely heated. Serve immediately with oyster crackers; freeze leftover soup in an airtight container up to 2 months.

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