The Broccoli Chowder That Almost Wasn’t & Flu Season [RECIPE]
Good Morning Everyone!
How are you? It’s been almost 4 days since I last checked in and I feel like it has been an eternity! So, hi!! How are you?! Happy President’s Day to all my fellow Americans, or in other words Happy one-more-day-of-the-weekend 😉 Yes, there is no manic Monday around here today… so… let’s snuggle up and talk about life, food, and everything in between okay? Let’s go!
Alright, can we gab for a moment about flu season? Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m kind of a germaphobe. No, seriously. I’ll be out shopping and someone always sneezes nearby and I think, “oh my gosh, germs are invading my body!!!”. I kind of trip out. If I could get away with one of those cute, kawaii Asian face masks, I would totally walk around like that all the time. No joke. Is that weird? That’s probably weird huh? Anyway, so you can imagine my shock when I read in the news that 4,000 Americans are dying per week of the latest flu strain. 4,000! I was like, “Whaaaaat?! Come again?!”. Yes, this flu season is particularly nasty… and long… and no one knows when it will taper off. (C’mon summer…). So when I read that I promptly stocked up on hand sanitizer, scrubbed down every door handle and surface top, and declared to my family that we would be avoiding crowds for the next few months.
Okay, so I couldn’t exactly avoid crowds… I have to grocery shop after all. But it’s freaky, right? People everywhere coughing their brains out and a part of my heart goes, “awww here’s a cough drop, bro” and the other part of me goes screaming and running away. So, when my little one felt sluggish on Friday my mommy-radar went into overdrive. I watched her like a hawk and then it was bedtime. (Cue me waking up at 3 AM because I knew something was wrong). I raced into her room and sure enough she had a low grade fever. Fighting the bells and whistles going off in my brain I promptly gave her medicine and headed off to the kitchen to cook some lugaw (Filipino rice porridge). This dish is also called Arroz Caldo if you put chicken in it…. or called congee in Chinese… or Jook in Korean! Take your pick 🙂 It’s warm, soft, comforting, and very restorative. Why? Because, (and I totally learned this googling things at 3 AM), that garlic is one of the best natural germ-fighting foods out there. And rice porridge uses a lot of garlic to flavor it up. Not to mention ginger, chicken stock, etc…. (just check out my recipe in the link above. It’s awesome 🙂 ).
So into her tummy it went and I slapped on my nurse hat for the day. Now let’s talk about today’s recipe, which is broccoli chowder. Back on Friday I had tossed a bunch of ingredients in the slow cooker prepared to make an old-fashioned chicken and dumpling recipe. “Yes!” I thought to myself, “tonight’s dinner is going to be awesome!”. (You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl 😉 ). Now this particular recipe only took 4 hours to cook, so I had plenty of time to wait around before I needed to begin.
It was early afternoon when I threw everything into the slow cooker, (frozen, raw chicken breasts and all) and cranked on the crock pot. An hour later the house was smelling like delicious chicken soup…. and then the power went out. Yes, boom! Nothing. Darkness. I stood there and blinked. “Okay….” I thought, “surely this will come back on in a minute”. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Now remember how I said I’m a germaphobe? My brain instantly thought about that raw chicken…. coming to room temperature…. in my beautiful crock pot…. which could totally produce germs that my family would consume and then get sick on and…. AHHHHH!!! (You can see where I completely panicked).
So I yanked those chicken breasts out of the crock pot and slapped them into a fridge to remain cool and prayed to God that the power would come back soon. An hour later, on went the lights and I rushed to the kitchen to try and save dinner. And thus, this recipe was born.
After scrapping the chicken and dumpling recipe I started completely over on the stove top. In went the chicken breasts to simmer in water, chicken bouillon, onion, carrot, broccoli, and spices, for an hour. After simmering in a quasi-chicken soup I used a separate small sauce pot to make a chicken gravy. (Just make a roux of flour and butter. Add a pinch of chicken bouillon and stir. Add milk and stir heating until thick. Add more milk and continue to stir until thick. Add salt and pepper and you’re done!). I combined the two and even tossed in a bit of tutong, or leftover cooked rice to thicken it up. Then I popped a lid on the soup pot and let it simmer and thicken for 30 minutes. The result was the most delicious, creamy broccoli chowder that I had no idea existed. The family lapped it up over a bowl of rice, but I could have easily tossed in canned biscuits to make a broccoli chowder and dumplings…. or tossed in a bit of broken noodles to go that way with it… the possibilities are endless. The point is, this soup is great, power outages suck, but when life gives you lemons (or blackouts), just roll with it and get creative in the kitchen! 🙂
I hope you all love this recipe as much as we did. Stay tuned for more and until next time everyone, keep on cooking! ❤
Stove Top Chicken and Broccoli Chowder
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen broccoli florets
- 3 carrots chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 cups water
- 1 pinch of dried sage
- 1 pinch of dried rosemary
- 1 pinch of dried thyme
- a few dashes of salt and black pepper to season
- 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour + 1 tbsp. chicken bouillon
- 4 cups milk
- Leftover rice* (Optional)
- In a deep soup pot place in the following: chopped, raw chicken, broccoli, carrot, onion, water, dried herbs, salt and pepper, and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 1 hour.
- After an hour, in a separate sauce pot make a chicken gravy. Begin by melting the butter and then adding in the flour to make a roux. Then add in 1 tbsp of chicken bouillon powder and mix. Add in 2 cups of milk and continue to stir over medium heat until the gravy has thickened. Then add the additional milk and continue to stir until everything is a nice, thick chicken gravy. (Add a pinch of salt and black pepper here if need be).
- Add the chicken gravy to the soup and mix well to combine. If you have leftover cooked rice, this is the part where you toss it in! Cover the soup with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes to let it thicken up.
- Serve over a bowl of warm rice and enjoy! 🙂