Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
20 minutes active; 4+ hours inactive to prepare Serves: 8
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup uncooked rice, optional
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
3/4 cup celery, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (32 oz.) packages low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and put rice, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bay leaf on top.
Season generously with salt and pepper, and add rosemary, basil and oregano.
Pour chicken broth over the top of ingredients in slow cooker, then cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours (or on low for 6-8), or until chicken is cooked through, rice is puffed up and veggies are tender.
During the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove chicken and transfer to a plate.
Once cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Return chicken to slow cooker.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil.
Whisk flour into melted butter and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, or until flour has a chance to cook and roux turns a light golden color.
While continuing to whisk, stir in milk and half-and-half, stirring until no lumps remain. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened 5-7 minutes.
Stir mixture into soup and cook for another 5 minutes, then ladle into serving bowls and serve hot.