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January 15, 2018

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN RICE VERMICELLI SOUP

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This Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Vermicelli Soup might look simple, but it is comforting and packed with flavor. It's the perfect soup to warm your body and feed your soul during the wintery cold and flu season. 

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN RICE VERMICELLI SOUP
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Don't you hate it when you order chicken soup and there's hardly any chicken in it? Remember that commercial years and years ago with the slogan "Where's the beef?" Well, that's what I feel like saying sometimes when I order chicken soup, only it's "Where's the chicken?" That's not happening with this soup! It is jam packed with chicken and good lean protein. And it's so easy to make.


Since this is a slow cooker meal, I can set it and forget it for a few hours while I go about my business. This soup cooks on low for 4 to 6 hours. The chicken breast is added to chicken stock that is seasoned with scallion, garlic, ginger, star anise, salt, sesame oil, and fish sauce. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, rice vermicelli (and more scallion) is added to the stock while the chicken is shredded and returned to the slow cooker. And it's ready to enjoy! It is fantastic served with a good squeeze of fresh lime juice which adds so much brightness. Don't leave it out. I highly recommend it!






This is a low maintenance, budget friendly, and healthy meal. It is nourishing, comforting, and perfect for cold winter days. (And it's gluten free too!) Since people at work are dropping like flies from colds and flu, I'm keeping a supply of this in the freezer as an emergency stash to nurse me back to health in case my number comes up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't need to dig into the freezer stash!




SLOW COOKER CHICKEN RICE
VERMICELLI SOUP     

Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Vermicelli Soup


INGREDIENTS:


6 cups chicken stock
3 star anise
1/3 cup chopped scallion stems (whites)
1 1/2 tbsp. minced ginger
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
4 tsp. fish sauce
12 oz. skinless boneless chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped scallion greens
4 oz. rice vermicelli
1 lime, quartered


INSTRUCTIONS:

Pour chicken stock into a 2.5 quart slow cooker. Use a piece of cheesecloth to create a pouch for the star anise. Knot the opening closed. Place in slow cooker. Add scallion stems, ginger, garlic, pepper, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and fish sauce. Stir to blend. Add chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

When chicken is cooked through, transfer to a plate. Add scallion greens and rice vermicelli to the stock. Use two forks to shred chicken. Return to the slow cooker. Continue cooking until vermicelli is tender (about 10 minutes total cooking time). Serve with a squeeze of lime juice.

Makes 4 starter or 2 main servings.



Recipe Notes:

  1. Using a cheesecloth pouch prevents star anise fragments from break loose into the soup. As an alternative to a cheesecloth, use a tea ball infuser to contain the star anise.
  2. Recipe can easily be doubled using a larger slow cooker.








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January 03, 2018

MOLDED SHRIMP SALAD

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Some things need to be brought back from the past like this retro Molded Shrimp Salad. Served with crackers, it is a fantastic appetizer that disappears quickly.

Molded Shrimp Salad
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Happy New Year!! I hope you had a great start to 2018! Did you do anything fun and exciting New Year's Eve?

My husband and I quietly celebrated the occasion by watching a couple movies. And since the temperature hovered around zero degrees Fahrenheit, I was all too happy to usher in the new year in the warmth of my own home. 

December 20, 2017

QUICK RISE CINNAMON SUGAR FOCACCIA

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Quick Rise Cinnamon Sugar Focaccia is a sweet twist on the traditionally savory bread. Rapid rise yeast and stand mixer kneading makes this yeast bread quick and easy to prepare, about one hour is all it takes.

QUICK RISE CINNAMON SUGAR FOCACCIA

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Until a visit to Eataly, an Italian marketplace in New York City in the summer of 2014, I had never seen a sweet focaccia. My eyes were drawn to a cinnamon sugar topped focaccia in a display case and knew immediately that it had to be featured on the blog one day. This post was originally published in January 2015. Since then, I have tweaked the recipe ever so slightly to make a yummy bread even yummier.  I have also added more detailed instructions to the recipe card. 

Below is the original post with new photos and the aforementioned updates. 

Enjoy everyone!

December 14, 2017

ROSEMARY GARLIC WINGS

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These 5-ingredient Rosemary Garlic Wings perfume the kitchen with an intoxicating aroma as they bake. They are easy to make and can easily be doubled...and you will want to!

Rosemary Garlic Wings
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It has been a blustery winter day here in my little corner of the Northeast. It was also garbage day, so when I came home from running errands, there was an obstacle course in the form of garbage barrels strewn in the middle of the street. To my dismay, it consisted entirely of my barrels and those of my friends next door. I was slightly annoyed that all of the others on the street were docked at a respectable distance from the curb. 

December 07, 2017

PISTACHIO CHOCOLATE CHIP SNOWBALL COOKIES

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Buttery Pistachio Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies are adorable and easy to make. They are great for cookie swaps and gift baskets. Add these to your holiday baking list this year.

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My boss is an incredible baker. She cranks out an unbelievable amount of baked goods each Christmas/holiday season to give to the various departments we work with at the hospital. Last year, I had the pleasure of helping her make some of the treats. Although we are scaling down on the baking this year, I am tasked with putting together a couple of goodie baskets. 

I wanted to incorporate a new recipe to the mix. It had to be easy to make, look semi-festive, and need no refrigeration. Snowball cookies fit the bill perfectly. They are light and cheery, can sit out at room temperature, and require little effort to make.