Nothing better on fall day than a hot bowl of spicy chicken soup. My tiny, ex-pat American abuela living in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico used to make a soup similar to this for me when i was a kid. Of course the limes came from our back yard and we ate it then as a family on a patio overlooking most of the country…but hey, it’s pretty good even in an apartment in Brooklyn.
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 Bay leaf
2 Carrots, chopped
1 Jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
1 Whole chicken
8 Cups home made chicken stock
3 Ears of corn, shucked, slice 2 ears into 1/2″ disks and cut the kernals off a third.
1 Bunch fresh cilantro.
1 Lime, sliced
1 Tomato, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
2 Corn Tortillas, cut into strips about 1″ thick
Spices: Chipotle, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne
1. In a large pot on high heat: combine Olive Oil, onions and saute until just brown.
2. add bay leaf, 2-3 full sprigs of cilantro, jalapeno, whole chicken (no need to cut it up), and 8 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered.
3. When chicken is cooked through (no longer pink…test by cutting into the flesh. about 20-30 minutes), remove chicken from pot and let cool for a few minutes. When cool, remove the meat from the bones/skin with your hands. Set bones and skin aside to make stock with later.
4. Add to the simmering pot: chicken meat, carrots, and corn. Using a spoon, skim excess grease from the top of the soup while it simmers.
5. Let soup cook for another 15 minutes or so, until vegetables are soft but not mushy, and the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
Corn Tortilla Chips
6. In a large skillet: heat Coconut Oil (it handles heat better for frying then Olive Oil). Add Corn Tortilla strips and fry until light brown.
7. Remove strips from oil (draining off as much oil as possible) and place on a clean cloth (or paper towel). sprinkle with chipotle powder, Cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and toss until covered in the spice.
Spoon hot soup into bowls and top with fresh tomato, avocado, cilantro leaves, lime wedges and at the very last second, the crispy tortilla chips so that they don’t get soggy.
To Make Stock for next time
1. In a large pot, Combine:
Chicken bones and skin
1 Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Bay Leaves
9 cups of water
optional: Add any other veggies you have getting a wee bit soft in the fridge. Stock isn’t a set recipe, it’s perfect for veggies past their prime.
2. On High heat, bring the stock to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes to an hour, until flavorful. I use 9 cups of water to make stock as some will evaporate, leaving closer to 8 cups to make the next batch of soup with.
3. turn heat off and strain the liquid from the bones and vegetables. The point is to KEEP the liquid stock.
4. Toss the bones/veggies, and freeze the stock for use later.