Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Thai Chicken Soup with Chinese Black Rice
I wanted to try something made with "Forbidden Black Rice" because I thought it would be fun to play with a new ingredient. The rice is short and sturdy. You have to rinse it a few times and as you do the water gets somewhat reddish. I did not notice any distinct taste in the rice, but it does seem more filling than regular rice and is not powdery at all. I found a good Chinese black rice by Lotus Foods called "Forbidden Black Rice" at Whole Foods.
I really like most Thai soups so I am somewhat easy to please, but I was not expecting such complex flavors in something I made by myself! Really, this recipe yields restaurant-quality tastes. I took my time making this recipe on a Sunday afternoon (cook chicken, cool chicken, shred chicken, etc.) and while it did take me a while, it is actually quite a simple recipe. The only difficulty is chopping the veggies. The soup is quite healthy and if you want to trim some fat you can use a lowfat coconut milk instead of regular. I hope you try to make this impressive this soup yourself.
In a 4-quart pot, blend the chicken broth, coconut milk. and curry paste to taste. Set the pot over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, chicken, scallion whites, and bell pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked, 20 to 30 minutes, depending upon size.
Remove the chicken. When it is cool enough to handle, shred or chop the meat and discard the bones. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the rice. Add the cilantro, scallion greens, lime juice to taste, and fish sauce, if needed to perk up the flavors.
Before ladling out each portion, stir well to bring the rice up from the bottom. Serve with lime wedges.