French Chicken-Rice Soup for What Ails You

French Chicken-Rice Soup. I discovered the recipe once when I was ailing in France, and it's been a favorite palliative ever since.

French Chicken-Rice Soup. I discovered the recipe once when I was ailing in France, and it’s been a go-to palliative ever since.

Do you happen to know anyone who’s ailing right now—perhaps down for the count with a head cold? I do! And that would be me. I’m just getting over one of those head colds that’s so bad that for an entire day, I completely forgot what it’s like to not be sick. You know the kind of miserable thing I’m talking about.

Happily, I had a batch of my French Chicken-Rice Soup in my freezer. That saw me through the worst day, for sure. In fact, I couldn’t imagine eating anything else.

If you’re someone who gets the flu or a cold at least once a year—or you know someone who does—make a batch of this right now, and stash some in the freezer in smaller portions. You know you’re not going to feel like cooking it when you’re sick, so do it now. Believe me. You’ll be glad you did.

Note: If you have to make this into a more substantial meal for others around your table, serve with prosciutto and butter sandwiches made on small buns. It’s a humble and wonderful meal.

From The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day

5.0 from 2 reviews
French Chicken-Rice Soup for What Ails You
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
If you happen to have some cooked chicken around, skip the part where you boil the chicken, and simply add the cooked chicken at the end of cooking time and heat through.
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 medium-size carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup celery leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground
  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the chicken thighs and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and cook at an active simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam (if much foam is present, strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve). Add the carrot, celery, onion, and rice to the pan and bring the broth back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the chicken from the soup; let cool slightly, then cut into small pieces. Return the chicken to the soup along with the parsley, lemon juice, and celery leaves. Season with salt and pepper, plus more lemon juice, if you like; reheat the soup if necessary and ladle into bowls to serve.
  2. * Note: This soup freezes well. Freeze in smaller batches. The rice will expand and thicken the soup upon thawing and reheating; just add more water or broth as needed.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Chicken and Dumplings (Another Good-for-What-Ails-You recipe).
Chicken Blanquette in the Slow Cooker (more comfort food)
Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic (for those who, like me, think garlic is a cure for colds!)
Seven-Bone French Pot Roast (when you’re feeling better and need fortification!)

I hope this post finds you well!






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4 comments to French Chicken-Rice Soup for What Ails You

  • Sorry you are under the weather. This soup sounds like it would cure what ever ails you. btw, I just bought your Bonne Femme book. It is so much more than I expected, just a lovely collection of all things good.

    • Wini

      Hello Madonna! So nice to hear from you. I’m feeling much, much better.
      I’m glad you feel the book looks promising! Since you love lemon, start with my Chicken Francese! It’s one of my own go-to recipes. Enjoy. And let me know what you think.

      (My version is different than some: Many restaurant/Italian versions have an egg batter on the chicken. Mine is lighter….so that lemony-garlic-wine appeal really steals the show!)

  • Nancy LoBalbo

    This recipe is delish and so easy! We frequently have it on hand all winter whether we’re suffering from illnesses or not. A home run Winnie!

    • Wini

      Thanks! I’m so glad that it’s become a “winter warmer” for you. I had some leftovers just last night. At that point, the soup gets nice and thick and porridgy….which is just so comforting. I’m definitely on the mend, and I think that this soup helped.

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