Chicken Tortilla Soup

serves 6

* any leftover broth can be refrigerated or frozen for another meal

1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

Extra-Virgin olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 small white onion or half a large, diced

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 medium jalapeno chile, seeded and ribs removed, chopped

1 chipotle chile en adobo halved and seeded, more or less depending on your taste

up to 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce, more or less depending on your taste

handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon dired oregano, preferably Mexican

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

8 cups of chicken broth

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15.5 ounce can of white hominy, drained

1 cup frozen corn

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

12 corn or flour tortillas, cut into 3/4-inch wide strips (I prefer the flour with this soup)

Vegetable oil for frying

kosher salt


Avocado, diced

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Red onion, diced

Jalapeno, seeded, ribs removed and finely diced

Mexican Crema or sour cream

Cotija cheese, crumbled or Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Place the chicken breast skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through.  Tent the chicken with foil and set aside to rest.  When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, discarding skin and bones.

Place the onion, tomatoes, garlic, chipotle chile, jalapeno chile, 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce, cilantro, oregano and cumin in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.  Heat the canola oil in a large dutch oven over high heat; add the tomato purée and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently until the mixture has darkened in color and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Add the broth, black beans, hominy, corn, and shredded chicken and bring to a boil.  Simmer until heated through.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and adobo sauce if needed.

While the soup is simmering, heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large fry pot to 350º F.  Add a handful of the tortilla strips to the hot oil.  Use metal tongs to keep them from sticking together.  Fry until golden and crisp, about 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet and immediately season with kosher salt.  Continue with the remaining strips.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips, and garnish with the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

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