Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Aztec Chicken Soup
Warm up this winter with a bowl of mexican healthy goodness. I know sometimes I dont want a big meal, I just want a hearty bowl of soup that fills me up and keeps me warm. My sailor mouth unleashes a f- yes to this, after I sit indian style on my chair wrapped up in a blanket and scarf this down to warm my belly.
Aztec Chicken Soup
2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
½ tbsp. whole black peppercorns
1 whole chicken, cut into quarters
2 dried pasilla chiles
8 Roma tomatoes
2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Fried corn tortilla strips
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Lime, cut into wedges
1. In a large stockpot, place half of the onions, 2 garlic cloves, the carrots, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, and chicken. Fill with enough cold water to cover the chicken by two inches. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
2. Skim off any foam that forms at the top. Once the chicken is fully cooked (about 45 minutes), remove it from the liquid and set aside to cool. Into another pot, strain the stock through a fine strainer and set aside. Discard the vegetables and aromatics. (The first two steps can be skipped by using 4 cans of store-bought stock and a cooked roast chicken, meat removed from the bones.)
3. Preheat the oven to broil and place the whole tomatoes, remaining chopped onion, and remaining whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Place on the top rack of the oven and broil until the tomatoes are slightly charred and the onions and garlic are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
4. Put the dried pasilla chiles on a cookie sheet and place them under the broiler until they are slightly toasted (be careful not to let them burn). Remove them from the oven and soak them in warm water 5-10 minutes.
5. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the tomatoes. Remove the chiles from the soaking water. Place the peeled tomatoes in a blender along with the roasted onion, garlic, and chiles. Puree until smooth.
6. In a thick-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Slowly add the tomato-chile puree and “fry” it in the oil until it thickens and darkens, 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add 4 quarts of the chicken stock (reserved cooking liquid) to the puree. Let it simmer 10-15 minutes.
7. In the meantime, remove all the meat from the chicken; discard skin and bones. Shred the chicken meat and add to the soup along with the salt. Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes and serve.
8. Garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, cheese, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.