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After the disaster of our cold Ukrainian soup the week prior, I wanted to cook something I knew Cosmin would appreciate.  Whilst fully aware that rice gives him wind, he does like it so I prepared myself mentally for the nasal assault to come and prepared a batch of chicken broth with rice.

I learnt an important lesson this week.  I would never dream of using out of date meat or dairy or veg, but I have a habit of using dried herbs and spices a little past their best.  You can’t get anything past Cosmin, he immediately picked up on the fact that something tasted a bit off.  Did I admit that the thyme was a year past its best before date, realising my error only after I had dumped it in the broth?  No I fucking didn’t, but I also didn’t complain when 90 minutes later the parping started.

 I will be sorting through my spice draw next weekend.


  • 1 chicken
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 3 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 300g long grained rice
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • 6 peppercorns


  • Calories | 217
  • Fat | 7.2g

Serves | 10 portions

Prep Time | 20 minutes

Cooking Time | 1 hour 30 minutes


  1. Stuff the chicken with the bay leaves and the quartered onion. Add to a large heavy-based saucepan and fill with water (no more than two cm above the chicken) 2 ½ teaspoons of salt and 6 peppercorns.  Cover, bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour until the chicken is cooked through.  Strain the broth into a clean saucepan and leave the chicken aside to cool.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the three remaining onions, carrots and parsnip, season with salt and brown in a frying pan with the oil. Add to the broth together with the thyme, bring to the boil then simmer for 12 minutes until tender.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
  3. Rinse the rice and add to the strained broth, cooking according to the packet instructions until the rice is al dente.
  4. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin and bones, dice the vegetables and add all to the broth and rice together with the parsley. Stir and serve.

Based on a recipe found at

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