Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup:

  • 3 lbs. chicken thigh (bone in and skin on)
  • 3 onions (peeled)
  • 3 stalks celery with leaves (washed)
  • 2 carrots (scrubbed clean)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded)
  • 4 guajillo peppers
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded)
  • 1 handful of fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Avocado (diced)
  • 2 Radish optional (sliced thin)
  • 3 bacon fat tortilla (cut into strips & fried)
  • 5 slices of roasted garlic
  • 1 gallon of water.

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Preheat a Dutch oven with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Sear both sides of chicken thigh, looking for golden brown and delicious. Remove chicken and add onions, celery, carrots, jalapeno, guajillo, bell pepper, thyme, bay leaves, cilantro and lemon cut in half and squeezed into the liquid. Put squeezed lemon in pot with the 1 gallon of water. Simmer until chicken is done and remove and let rest in some of the stock liquid. Cool until you can pull apart.

Using an emulsion blender, blend all vegetables and then strain. Save the liquid. You’re looking for an extremely clear soup (what I mean by this is straining any impurities out, seed, leaf, piece of chicken, etc.) If it takes a few times to strain its fine, it usually takes me 2-3 times to get almost all of it out. Once that is done 

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Shred the chicken and add back to the liquid. Top with toasted garlic, sliced radish, avocado, picked cilantro leaf and bacon fat tortilla strips.

This dish is one of those dishes I’m absolutely in love with. Not only is it one of those dishes where everything just clicks, it’s also so damn good for you. I had chicken tortilla soup for the first time when I was stationed in San Diego. It was a little Mexican spot. I’ve taken that concept here and really made it my own. I like to make this as often as possible, because it’s an extremely economic dish and it packs a 35$ punch.

In this profession you really don’t have many dishes that, at the end of the day you’re completely proud of or your wouldn’t change anything. This is one of those dishes. My first restaurant I worked in (real restaurant) was a Mexican restaurant. We highlighted and really put out hearts into the food. We took inspiration from the Oaxaca region and really made it our own. Don’t hesitate to pull this one out when you want to impress everyone.

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