\\ MEXICAN CHICKEN SOUP WITH HOMINY AND AVOCADO //

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You might have noticed I cook chicken a lot. Full of Omega 3 fatty acids and other brain vitamins it is NOT, however it is cheap and versatile, and nothing says I love you to your friends and family or yourself than a warm-ass bowl of some kind of chicken soup, as the bright sparking leaves of fall fade quietly to a brown mountain winter.

ANYway, this recipe is cheap, warming, fantastic, and easier than calling the local taco dip for take out.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken (tenderloins, breasts, buncha thighs, whatever cut you like or is reduced for quick sale if you want to save a few bucks)

1 small can hominy

1 small can diced tomatoes

4 cups chicken stock

Red onion, chopped finely

Huge bunch cilantro, ripped up

1 avocado, chopped roughly

1 cup rice

Salt to taste

Juice of one lime, plus more sliced for garnish

Dash hot sauce (brand loyalty time! Whatever you want) (also, optional)

Garlic powder

Cumin

Cayenne

Achiote (ground powder of the Annatto seed, slightly exotic but helpful to have around, for that inimitable Latin flavor)

2 cubanello peppers

1 poblano pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

Heat some oil over medium and toss in the chicken, raw. Brown a bit on each side, with a dash of salt. Add the achiote, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne. Dump in canned tomatoes, chopped onion, hominy. Now add the stock and rice and bring it to a boil.

Meanwhile, as you wait for your lovely new soup to boil, grill up those cubanellos and poblano in a dry pan over medium high heat until the skin blisters up. Flake off the skin with the point of a knife, cut off the tops of the peppers, and run the side of the knife down the inside of the peppers to remove the membranes and the seeds. Chop up roughly. Don’t touch your eyes.

When the soup reaches a boil, turn it down way low, add the peppers and the lime juice, and simmer for a half hour.

Turn off the stove and remove the pot from heat. The rice might be a little stiff still, but the internal heat of the soup with continue to cook the rice. The chicken should be crazy tender. I like using tenderloins, as you can fit one or two in a bowl and they fall apart without too much coaxing.

Adjust spices to taste, and add the hot sauce at this point, if you’re using it. If you like a sweeter broth, a dash of cinnamon will do well here, and a more sour style broth would benefit from extra lime. Again, this is your rodeo. Whatever you want, cowboy.

Slice up and add the avocado as well as all the cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro, use flat leaf Italian parsley, or even cut spinach into fine strips. But you should have a greenness to the soup which mellows out the zing from the lime and cayenne.

This is it. It’s ready to eat. If it’s too spicy a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt will cool it down. Serve in giant bowls because it’s really good. I would throw some tortilla strips up on there if you have them, for bonus cool points. But if you don’t, no need to worry, because this soup, as is, is amazing. You’ll love it. Promise.

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