Chuck Hayes, Newborn, Georgia - [email protected]
My Uncle Mike was in town visiting me and my family the other week. Spending time with; talking; sharing stories, and feeding him made me realize how important family really is. Not necessarily the blood relative kind, but those that share in the collective experience of ones existence---they can be even more “family” than someone that just shares a gene or two. Think of the bonds made in childhood, or close “family” church members that you do life with. Wouldn’t you consider them part of your “extended” family? I bet you would.
Every Christmas since we were first married my wife and I have put on a Christmas spread for the whole family. Quite an elaborate affair where each member is served 5-7 courses by Andrea (my wife) and I while we cook at the same time. This Christmas we are going to try the more “family” approach of a pot-luck Christmas dinner. The below recipe is an adaptation of one that my wife received years ago from a dear friend, and it is what the Hayes clan will be contributing to the 14th annual Hayes Christmas Dinner.
JAPANESE SOUP WITH SHREDDED CHICKEN AND RICE
Makes 10 good sized bowls.
• 3 Quarts Swanson chicken broth
• 1 Quart water
• 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts cooked/cooled and shredded w/ two forks—skim foam while cooking and discard---save cooking water (just enough to cover while cooking) to add to broth
• 2 8oz. containers of sliced mushrooms (button is fine)
• 1 tsp FRESH fine ground black pepper
• 1 Cup dry long grain rice cooked to directions on package (yields about 2 cups cooked)
• 1 bunch green onion. Use only green portion sliced fine at an angle
• Salt to taste
In a medium stock pot add: Chicken broth, quart of water, mushrooms, black pepper, and green onion. Bring to light boil until mushrooms are softened (10-15 minutes?).
Add shredded chicken (with its cooking liquid), and rice to heat all through. Adjust taste with salt.
Serve with thick slices of toasted bread to round out the meal.
You can omit the chicken and rice for the “classic” version of Japanese Soup (MUCH better than the version served at the Japanese restaurant Nagoya).
"When I cook for my family and friends they can see how much they mean to me. By nourishing their bodies I hope to feed their souls as well."
-Rudi Sodimin 2001