Thursday, November 27, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers

Today's Barefoot Blogger recipe is Mexican Chicken Soup chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats.

I don't think anyone does soup better than Ina.....I've made several  -  her Corn Chowder is a staple around here.....and this was no exception.  I served this on the first night to my regular BB taste testers, Luke and Donna, and they loved it.  Mr. B loved it.  Charlotte's guy friends came over the next night and finished it off.....and they loved it!  So this was a hit all over!!

I have to admit that I made this a week ago, so the memory is a little fuzzy (shut up), but I don't think I made any changes to the original recipe.  Here it is:

Mexican Chicken Soup
(can also be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home)

4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used Swanson)
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed (I used the fire-roasted them)
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I used 2)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, optional (WHAT?? Cilantro optional in a Mexican soup??  Ina...I don't think so.  I put in extra cilantro)
6 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas (I seriously considered leaving them out because I just couldn't fathom their purpose, but I added them and SO glad I did.  I functions as a sort of thickening agent and the soup would have been seriously lacking with out them.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a sheet pan.  Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat.  Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to brown.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using (you are!).  Cut the tortillas in 1/2, then cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and add to the soup.  Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken and season to taste.  Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avacado, a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips (and extra cilantro!!)


These are Charlotte's friends after finishing off the soup and having a great time trying on Luke's bullet-proof vests.  Boys!

Hunter, Dugan and Connally

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