Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I got this recipe off the Food Network from Rachael Ray. It's a yummy and spicy rendition of chicken tortilla soup. It's also pretty healthy if you leave out the bacon and depending on how much toppings you add. I'd definitely make it again! My notes are in italics.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 cups of chicken stock
1 pound of chicken tenders - I used two chicken breasts and cut the breasts up.
1 bay leaf
1 TB olive oil
4 slices of bacon chopped - I omitted to keep it a little healthier.
1 onion finely chopped - I used onion powder since Wes doesn't like the texture of real onions.
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped + 2 Tb sauce
1 - 28 oz. can crushed fire roasted tomatoes - I used a can of whole tomatoes and chopped them.
Salt to taste

Bring broth to a simmer and add chicken, poach 6 to 7 minutes with bay leaf.

While chicken poaches, heat oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon if using and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off excess fat, leaving 2 to 3 Tb in pan. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and cook 5 minutes. I skipped cooking the bacon and added the onion powder and garlic to the olive oil. Stir in chipotles and tomatoes.

Remove chicken from stock, dice and then add to soup. I shredded the chicken. Pass stock through a strainer to get out the bay leaf and chicken fat. Add broth to soup.

Ladle soup into a bowl. Top with either crushed tortilla chips (I used corn tortilla chips) or make your own tortilla strips. (Brush tortillas with melted butter or vegetable oil. Cut into strips & salt. Place on a sheet pan and into the broiler for a few minutes until lightly golden brown.) Top with crushed tortillas and cheese of choice (I used cheddar). Add a dollop of sour cream and even add some cilantro if you wish.

This was a spicy tortilla soup due to the chipotles. I recommend scrapping the seeds out and/or finely chop the chipotles so no one gets too much heat in one bite. I also added about 3/4 cup of frozen corn to the soup. It would've been good with a can of black beans too. I do like the sweetness from the whole tomatoes. I'm not sure what the flavor would've been like if you used the suggested fire roasted tomatoes. Let me know how it turns out if you do use it! The sour cream definitely adds a nice creaminess to the soup and cools down the heat if the soup is too spicy. But overall, it was delicious and something I'd definitely make again.

The most difficult part of this recipe may be poaching the chicken, which really isn't that hard. And chipotles aren't something that is used in every day cooking. Definitely put the rest of the chipotles in a Tupperware and keep in the fridge. They'll hold for quite a while. I'll try to post more recipes that use chipotles so that the rest don't go to waste.

Happy cooking!

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