Oh haaaay! I’m back from vacation (waaah!) and back into the swing of regular life — which is really not a bad thing. We had such a great road trip, and felt genuinely rejuvenated by the time Monday morning rolled around, despite a fairly eventful finale!
On Thursday our plan was to drive from Salt Lake City across the salt flats, through Nevada, and up into Oregon to the Alvord desert. We were going to spend the night in the Alvord, then drive to Crater Lake Friday to climb Mt. Thielsen on Saturday. With the absolute worst timing possible (literally, there was no worse time/place for this to happen), our engine died. Like, full on is not repairable. SERIOUSLY!? Ugh. This was about 6pm Thursday, so we called the nearest tow truck — 100 miles away, 40 miles of which was gravel road. We waited 3 hours for it to arrive, loaded up the car, and road to Burns, Oregon in the tow truck.
We arrived in Burns at midnight totally exhausted, without having eaten dinner, and honestly a bit emotional. DON’T DIE, BIG RED!! Luckily we got a hotel room, and were able to get some good sleep. Unfortunately, the next morning the mechanic confirmed our fears: big red was DEAD. Commence our search to find a way back to Portland from Burns (about a 5 hour drive). Rental car? None within 100 miles. Bus? Infrequent, and we had all of our climbing/backpacking gear — nearly impossible to load it all on a bus. Have my brother come pick us up? He was willing, but that seemed like a waste of his time (10 hours). The only vehicle available for rent in or near Burns was a u-haul. Not just any u-haul, but the BIGGEST u-haul they offer: 26′ box truck. After weighing our options again and again, we decided: let’s just do it.
So, we drove a HUGE box truck all the way back to Portland, 98% empty and 2% full of our outdoor gear. It was a bit cumbersome, but Marc drove like I champ (I was too wimpy to drive the thing) and we made it home in time to unpack, clean up, and get a 10+ hour night of sleep. We were bummed to cut the final bit of our vacation short, but also excited to have a whole weekend at home where we genuinely relaxed: we didn’t work, we didn’t make plans, we really didn’t do anything except for tend to the garden, chill out, spend time with each other, and recoup from a week+ on the road. Not too shabby, eh?
With that, let’s dive back into food! This recipe is a re-post from years ago (almost EXACTLY 5 years ago!) — I wanted to update the photos, and always love re-making this recipe. It’s still a favorite! This soup is spicy, flavorful, and hearty. This’ll leave you full and satisfied all darn winter! Seriously one of my go-to winter soups. As Portland weather turns to fall (the last two days excluded!), I anticipate making this (and other fall/winter soups!) much more often.Print
Spicy Chicken and Rice Chowder
This hearty soup is filling, spicy, so warm, and perfect for cold weather.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 3 chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 Tbsp adobo sauce
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 6 cups chicken broth*
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice mix, rinsed
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- thinly sliced green onions
- grated cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- Cut the bacon into small slices, and cook in a large stew pot until crispy. Keeping the bacon grease in the pot, remove the bacon and set aside.
- Over medium heat, add the garlic and shallots to the bacon grease and cook for about 4 minutes. Push the shallots and garlic to the side of the pot, and add the cubed chicken and adobo sauce. Cook until the chicken is starting to brown.
- Add the minced chipotle peppers, bell pepper, and celery. Cook for until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. If needed, add olive oil.
- Add the chicken broth and rice, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down and let the soup simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally (to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom).
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour into the milk until completely incorporated. Add this mixture to the soup, and let it simmer another 10 minutes, or until thickened. Season with pepper.
- Serve topped with the bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions.
I choose to use Pacific Foods Organic Low-Sodium Chicken Broth!