Monday, April 4, 2011

Chicken enchilada soup

This is my all time favorite soup recipe. I adapted it from a soup I saw Rachel Ray make a few years ago. My version takes longer than her 30 minute version of Tex Mex soup but I would venture to say the extra time is well worth the effort. This is also one of my all time favorite comfort foods and this was a good week to eat comfort food.

I started with a fresh chicken. Cleaned out the innards, gave it a rinse and then set it into a big pot. Then I added 4 chopped up carrots, 3 stalks of celery and 1 onion purred (instead of chunks because someone who I was feeding is onion phobic). Then I added about 1/4 cup chicken seasoning, 2-3 TBSP smoked paprika, 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, and 1 tsp of Mexican oregano. then I added water to cover about 1 inch above the chicken (I added a few more cups of water after this picture) Then gave the liquid a stir and brought the pot up to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer put the pot lid on and let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

While the chicken was poaching I got some of the other ingredients out and ready. I shredded some reduced fat cheddar, chopped up one green pepper, 2 jalapenos, 1 bunch of cilantro, and juiced 2 limes.

After the 1 1/2 hours were up I took the whole chicken out of the broth with two spatulas and set it onto a pan, then I used the spatula to open it up a bit so it could cool down. When it had cooled enough to touch, I picked all the meat off the bones and shredded it into bite sized pieces. I added the shredded chicken to my roasting pan. The rest of this soup is made in here because my pot isn't big enough.

While the chicken was cooling I took 6 california peppers and cleaned them (took off the stem, took out the ribs and seeds and gave them a rinse) Then I dropped them to boil with the chicken broth while I was cleaning the meat off the chicken bones. When I had finished with the chicken (about 15 minutes later) I fished them out of the broth with a spatula and put them into my blender with a little bit of water and buzzed that up to make a sauce.

So into the roasting pot on top of the chicken I added the California pepper sauce, two cans of drained black beans, one bag of corn, the green pepper, jalapenos, cilantro and lime juice, 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and one box of Uncle Ben's wild rice including the seasoning packet. Then I pored the broth that was left after boiling the chicken right on top and gave the whole thing a stir. I also add a few TBSP of honey to give it a bit of sweetness. In the end I added another 3-4 cups of water so that it would be a bit more brothy, but if you like less broth you could just leave it. I also had to add more of all the spices just to make sure it was perfect. Then just bring the whole thing back up to a simmer for another 20 minutes or so and your done.

Even though you will be eating a big bowl of soup packed with vitamins, nutrients, and healthy protein your tongue will not know that it's eating something good for you. As my son's favorite show Yo Gabba Gabba says it will be a party in your tummy! This soup has a LOT of depth of flavor. It is so amazingly comforting, warm and wonderful. I like to eat this soup with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of light sour cream and a side of baked Doritos. I won't change anything with this recipe next time I make it because it has already been perfected in the last few years that I've been making it.

** This soup is not spicy, if you want more heat you can add more jalapenos, any other hot pepper you like, chipolte in adobo sauce, or even hot sauce.

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