Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to incorporate a skin-on, bone-in chicken breast...

... into your soup! Skin-on, bone-in chicken is always cheaper at the supermarket. Maybe it's because they're sold by weight and so they work out how much the extra bone and skin would weigh? Or it's because they don't have to pay someone to skin and bone the chicken breast? Who knows... I've never tried to de-bone a raw chicken before but just imagine it's just much easier to do when it's cooked.

The idea behind this meal was to cook the chicken, get broth from the skin and bone, and then get the meat off the bone. It worked pretty well so I'll definitely do this again for other soups. Tonight's soup was:

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Adapted from Que Pasa tortilla chip bag
Yield: 4-6 generous servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (you can keep or discard the seeds depending on how hot you'd like it)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 medium tomato, chopped

6 cups water
1 can black refried beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
juice of 1 lime
1 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast

Heat a heavy bottomed, large soup pot on medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, and place the chicken breast, skin side down. Sear for about 2 minutes, then flip and sear for an additional 2 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, peppers, cumin, and coriander for 5 minutes. Stir to make sure the onions absorb the chicken-y goodness!
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the chicken breast and place on a plate to cool.
Add refried beans (optional: for a smoother soup, use an immersion blender)
Once the chicken has cool, remove the skin and bone. Chop or shred chicken to desired thickness/size. Add the chicken back into the soup.
Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Serve with guacamole, tortilla chips and garnish with cheese and/or sour cream (if you eat dairy).

It was a pretty good soup with a decent amount of flavour. I think it could have been a little better if it had more chicken flavour. Maybe I'll use 3 cups water, and 3 cups chicken stock next time...

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