Slow Cooked Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms (Day 1), Soup (Day 2)

by Rachel on March 16, 2011

Crimini Mushrooms

I’m achy – just enough to keep me awake for an hour or so in the middle of the night.  This isn’t my normal routine.  I’m usually an A+ sleeper, the kind of sleeper bad sleepers loathe, the kind who goes to sleep immediately and stays asleep until moments before the alarm goes off.  My achy self has a lot of time for self-reflection, and it turns out, for menu planning.  My college friend Julia is in the midst of her month of shopping and eating on a food stamp budget.  Julia’s hope is to document whether or not it is possible to eat primarily organic food using the amount of money allocated to American families on food stamps.  I have been thinking about how critical it is not to waste food, both in terms of the budget implications, but also because waste is so environmentally harmful.  I’ve written already about converting leftovers into second meals, taking your leftover food and creating an entirely different meal.  I’m an excellent cook and I make home cooked meals for my family every day (yes, EVERY single day – we almost never eat out, except for birthdays and celebrations).  Even with my well-developed kitchen skills my kids complain about having to eat the same meal two days in a row.  Spoiled.  I know.  And it’s my own damn fault.  So this recipe is designed to be one meal on the first day, and an entirely different meal on day two thus avoiding food waste and the wrath of your children (or at least the wrath of mine).  The total amount of prep time is 15 minutes on Day One and 10 minutes on Day Two.

Two Meals in One: Slow Cooked Chicken Thighs w/Crimini Mushrooms (Day One)

Chicken Soup with Rice (Day Two)

Day One: Slow Cooked Chicken Thighs w/Crimini Mushrooms (serves 6)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned, coarsely chopped, white parts only
  • 3 whole carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 20 crimini mushrooms, cleaned, left whole (white mushrooms can be used if they are cheaper – though they have quite a bit less flavor)
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • One 15-oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine (in the interest of cost you can skip the wine and use more stock)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon for garnish (purely optional)

More gorgeous mushrooms

Day Two: Chicken Soup with Rice (serves 6)

  • Leftovers from Day One
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 3 whole carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

Day One:

Place everything in the slow cooker.  Stir gently.  Make sure the chicken is covered in broth.  Turn the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.  At the end of the cooking time check the broth and add more salt or pepper if necessary.  Boxed chicken broth varies a great deal in its sodium content.

Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken, mushrooms and vegetables and serve over rice, mashed potatoes or flat noodles.  Ladle ½ cup broth over each serving.  Sprinkle with fresh tarragon and serve.

Serving six adults I had four chicken thighs leftover, vegetables and about six cups of highly flavorful broth.  I put all of it in the fridge overnight.

Day Two:

45 minutes before you want to eat, put the leftovers from the prior day in a soup pot.  Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken, place on a cutting board and chop into bite size pieces.  Return the chicken to the pot.  Bring the pot to a simmer and add the cooked rice, carrots, and celery.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  Check the seasoning and add additional salt and pepper, if necessary.  Serve.

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