Food & Drink

I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!

Food is NOT just fuel!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chicken Corn Tortilla Soup

I know I've mentioned it before...but this soup is so darn comforting I can't help myself. I start in a very old-school way - boil an entire chicken. That's right, I chop up an entire chicken and it goes into a pot. I also throw in some savories: thyme, peppercorn, salt, onion, carrot, celery. And I boil it until the chicken is cooked completely through. The result - cooked chicken, and a stock I can use for the soup. I know, you're thinking the chicken won't have any flavor because it's been boiled. Wrong-o, my friend. :)

Next step is to shred the chicken - you want it nicely shredded and make sure to discard all skin and bones. In a new pot, heat up some olive oil and start cooking the vegetables: onions, carrots & celery with a little salt until they begin to soften. Add chopped thyme, chopped garlic, and 1 - 2 chopped jalapenos.

Here's the fun part - in the past I would often use a couple of cans of creamed corn. This time, I DID use one small can of creamed corn (mostly to add some sweetness and for some texture), but I also cut kernels off of 3 fresh cobs of corn. Holy crap I love fresh corn. Once the vegetables have begun to soften, throw in the corn, creamed corn, and the chicken. Mix this through and then add enough of the reserved stock to cover everything by 1 - 2 inches (depending on how big of a pot you have). Season with salt & pepper to taste, and bring to a bubble. At that point, reduce the heat so that it stays at a simmer for about 1/2 hour.

In the meantime, heat up some oil in a pan (I used peanut oil) and fry small strips of corn tortillas, turning once. They will darken a bit, and get crispy. I make a big pile of these because halfway through cooking of the soup, I like to throw in a big handful. They get really soft, almost like noodles, and add a really nice texture to the soup.

Once the soup is finished, ladle it out into big soup bowls (make sure you tasted it for seasoning first). Add a pile of fried corn tortilla strips to the top and you're ready to eat!

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