Turmeric, Chicken & Smoked Rice Soup

Hiver 2018
food and drink

BY: Christopher St. Onge

I was introduced to Persian smoked basmati rice by this magazine’s art director and have been a fan ever since. Curiosity lead me to try smoking my own and the results are delicious. The technique isn’t limited to brown rice, as demonstrated here—virtually any rice can be smoked. Control the amount of smoke in dishes using smoked rice by combining it with un-smoked rice. It’s fantastic virtually anywhere rice is used.

1 carton (480 mL) chicken stock
6 cups (1.5 L) cool water
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
Small head garlic, cut in half to expose the cloves
1 onion, halved
6 dollar-coin-sized slices ginger
2 large skinless, bone-in chicken legs, about 1½ lbs (750 g) total weight
4 tsp (20 mL) fine oak or maple smoking chips
¾ cup (175 mL) brown long-grain rice
1 serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
1½ tsp (7 mL) ground turmeric
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground coriander
1 medium carrot, julienned
¼ cup (60 mL) roughly chopped cilantro

1. In a medium pot, combine chicken stock, water, salt, garlic, onion and ginger. Add chicken legs to pot, place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 12 minutes. Remove chicken legs to a bowl. Cover pot and turn off heat.

2. When chicken legs are just cool enough to handle, remove meat in large pieces and return to bowl; reserve. Add bones to pot, cover and once again bring to a simmer, this time for 30 minutes. Strain stock and return to pot; discard solids.

3. While stock is simmering, arrange smoking chips in bottom of smoker. Cover smoking rack with foil; pierce foil all over with a toothpick. Rinse rice in a sieve under cool running water until water runs clear. Drain and spread out over foil. Cover with lid or foil, set over high heat for 1 minute; reduce to low and smoke for 15 minutes. With kitchen fan running, open lid.

4. Stir rice, chili, turmeric and ground coriander into strained stock. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Add reserved chicken, carrot and cilantro; cook 2 minutes longer or until carrot is tender. Check seasoning and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Make Your Own Stovetop Smoker

1 Line the inside (sides and bottom) of a large heavy-duty pot or wok with foil, to protect your pot from scorching.

2 Sprinkle foil with amount of fine wood chips indicated in recipe. If a drip tray is required, place a foil pie plate directly over chips inside the pot, leveling as best you can.

3 Top with a footed metal steaming basket. A perforated pizza pan works well in woks, too. Place food in basket, or on pizza pan, cover pot with lid and seal with foil.

4 Get things going with an initial hit of high heat, then reduce heat and smoke according to recipe instructions.

Tips for Success

• Don’t overload your smoker with chips! In most cases, more isn’t better.

• Check for smoke leaks during the high heat phase (before your pan gets too hot to handle) and patch up by pinching foil to seal.

• If you lack a powerful kitchen exhaust, let your smoker sit, covered, for 15 minutes after removing from This allows the smoke to settle before opening.

• If you only purchase one type of smoking chip, purchase maple. It’s a great all-purpose choice.

• Look for very fine, sawdust-like smoking chips made specifically for stovetop smoking. If unavailable, you can grind small chips (but not chunks!) finer in a spice grinder.

What to Serve