Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 Whole chicken (cooked in water with celery tops, onion and carrots) and 2 tsp. salt & pepper
8 cups of homemade chicken broth (use the broth chicken is cooked in)
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
29 oz can diced tomatoes
14-1/2 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 Tbsp. Mexican spice (or Chili powder if you don't have any)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 small can diced green chilies (undrained)
1/2 poblano pepper, chopped (can roast ahead and freeze)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
homemade corn tortilla strips (recipe below)
1 lime, sliced
avocado, chopped
shredded cheese
hot sauce
sour cream
extra cilantro

Boil chicken in water until cooked. Keep the broth and de-bone and dice up chicken (use white meat first) and measure out 3 cups. If you have extra chicken use for something else.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Saute' onion and garlic until soft. Add Mexican or chili spice and cumin and stir until aroma is released. Then add the homemade chicken broth, diced tomatoes, green chilies, poblano pepper, cilantro and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then add the cut up chicken and simmer on low until slightly thickened and tastes have a chance to blend (about 30-60 minutes).

Serve with homemade corn tortilla strips, lime juice, sour cream, cheese, avocado, hot sauce and extra cilantro.

Homemade corn tortilla strips
Cut up 8-10 corn tortillas into strips (about 1/2 inch each) and place on a stoneware pan. Spray with Pam nonstick spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (stirring every 10 minutes) until crispy, but not burned. They will crisp up once they are out of the oven so don't be concerned if some of the strips aren't fully crisp.

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