Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Budget Stretcher: Leftover Makeover

I love Arroz con Pollo, Spanish Chicken and Rice.  It's a tasty one dish sort of meal for autumn and winter.  It has browned chicken pieces, onion, garlic, pimento, yellow rice, and at the last minute green peas are added.  It's so tasty!  Unfortunately, despite dividing the recipe in half I had leftovers of the rice portion and the rice acted weird (some not getting done, some getting overcooked) so I was reluctant to put the leftovers to the test of reheating as a side dish for another meal.

And then I got creative...What if I made soup?  I liked the idea very well and decided it was worth a try.

I had in my fridge the leftover rice from the dinner, a bit of leftover white rice, some green peas, a chicken breast half.  From the pantry I pulled a can of whole kernel corn, some diced tomatoes and from the freezer some chicken broth.  For seasoning: garlic, cumin and liquid smoke.

I chopped the chicken breast and dumped into a soup pot.  Added in my leftover rices, half a can of corn, half the peas, a whole can of tomatoes (and a couple spoons of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies.  John's not a fan of heat but if you are, I'd use the whole can and skip the plain ones).  Then I added in two cups of chicken broth, about 5 drops of the liquid smoke, 1 tbsp of cumin, 1 tsp minced garlic and 1 tsp sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. I tasted and it seemed just right for seasoning.  I wanted the liquid smoke to enhance the cumin not overwhelm the soup, so go easy on it. I let the soup simmer on the back burner for about an hour. I didn't much care if the yellow rice did overcook since it had already been such a disappointment and I was aware that it's breaking down would make the soup a bit thick.

When ready to serve the soup, I topped it with shredded cheddar and served with cornbread.  This was  a really good soup.  It had body to it (John likes soups to be thick) and great flavor.  I could easily have served four, so we've got enough soup left to have another meal this week and I am not unhappy about that at all. 

No comments: