Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe originated from Cook's Illustrated's Rebecca Hays.
Photo by Melissa D.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • Tortilla Strips

  • 8

    (6-inch) corn tortillas (thinnest ones you can find), cut into 1/2-inch wide strips

  • 1

    Tbs. vegetable oils

  • salt

  • Soup

  • 2

    bone-in skin-on split chicken breasts (c. 1.5 lbs) or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1.25 lbs), skin removed and well-trimmed of fat

  • 8

    c. low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1

    very large white onion (c. 1 lb.), trimmed of root end, quartered and peeled

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 2

    large sprigs epazote or 8-10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano

  • salt

  • 2

    medium tomatoes, cored and quartered

  • 1/2

    medium jalapeno

  • 1

    chipotle in adobo, plus up to 1 Tbs. adobo sauce

  • 1

    Tbs. vegetable oil

  • Garnishes

  • 1

    lime, cut into wedges

  • 1

    Haas avocado, diced fine

  • 8

    oz. cotija cheese, crumbed or Monterey Jack cheese, diced fine (or shredded)

  • cilantro leaves

  • minced jalapeno

  • Mexican crema or sour cream

Directions

1. For the tortilla strips: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated. Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, about 14 minutes (tossing the strips halfway through). Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plat lined with paper towels. 2. For the soup: While the tortilla strips bake, bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, epazote (or the cilantro/oregano alternate), and 1/2 tsp. salt to boil over medium-high heat in large pan; reduce heat, to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainerl discard solids in strainer. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones. 3. Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeno, chipotle chile, and 1 tsp adobo sauce in food processor until smooth. Heat oil in dutch oven over high heat until shimmering; add tomato/onion puree and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes. Stir strained broth into tomato mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Taste soup; if desired, add up to 2 tsp. additional adobo sauce. Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.

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