Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup

4 Lbs Chicken Thighs
1/2 Stick Unsalted butter
4 Stalks Celery with greens, cut into 1/3″ pieces
4 Medium Carrots, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 Medium Onion, diced
1 Bunch Parsley, 1/2 chopped, half whole.
6 Sprigs Thyme, whole
3 Sprigs Thyme, leaves removed from stalk.
2 Bay Leaves
12 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 or 2 Cups Cooked rice (depends on how much rice you like)
2 Lemons
2 Cups Cooked Rice
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Melt 1/4 Stick of butter in a large pot
  • Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook 6 – 8 minutes, until the skin side is golden brown. Flip the chicken and cook another 6 minutes. The inside isn’t done at this point, but don’t worry.
  • Remove the chicken and save.
  • Drain off all but a couple of tablespoons of the rendered fat, and return the pot to the heat.
  • Add the Celery, Carrots and Onions and cook until soft and only slightly browned.
  • Add the chicken, all the parsley, all the thyme and the bay leaves and bring to a very gentle simmer.
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes, then remove and discard the bay leaves, the whole parsley and the whole thyme.
  • Refrigerate overnight, then skim excess fat from surface.
  • Reheat and add the juice from one lemon, and taste. If needed add some or all of the juice from the other lemon. Add the cooked rice, and add salt and pepper (if necessary).

Variation: Add a 1/2 Teaspoon of Huy Fong Chili Garlic or Sriracha Sauce per bowl. This is best left to each diner instead of adding to the pot. 😎