Mexican Chicken Soup

12/16/2014

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Because it’s soup season, here’s yet another. The key to good soups, as I’ve found, is good broth. I save all my drippings from things roasted in the oven (vegetables and meat), along with all the juice leftover from whatever I cook in the crock-pot. I put them in little tupperware containers in the freezer and throw a frozen block into soups and stews when needed. All the cooked marrow from bones and caramelized sugars from vegetables becomes a Flavor Bomb that adds appreciated dimension.

Speaking of broths, I just learned thanks to Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown that there is such thing as a “master stock” which originates in China. The stock is used repeatedly to braise meat and is never used for soups, but instead the SAME STOCK is passed down from generation to generation being used over and over again. A master stock can be 100 years old! I’m sure it turns anything it touches into a flavor explosion.

No master stock unfortunately in this recipe. But try keeping your crockpot stock after you cook your roast, or the browned bits on the pan after you cook your chicken, and add this to your next soup. It makes a world of difference.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, chopped
6 c chicken stock
2 poblano chilis
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatos
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried Mexican oregano
1 T cumin
1/4 c lime juice
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 avocado
Feta cheese
S&P

Instructions:

First, roast your poblano peppers. To do this, put them whole on a baking sheet under the broiler. Cook each side until they are black and charred, about 5 minutes each side. While they’re cooking, heat a big soup pot on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and chopped chicken. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, or about 5-7 minutes. Once the peppers are charred on all sides, take them out of the oven and set them aside. Remove the chicken from the pot.

Next, add the garlic, oregano, and cumin. Stir for about a minute. Then add the onions and green pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Once the onion is transparent, add the chicken stock, cooked chicken, S&P, and can of tomatoes. With the poblanos, cut out the stem and take out the seeds, and peel off the charred outer skin. Cut up the peppers and add them to the soup.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Garnish with cilantro, chopped avocado, and cheese.

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