Mexican chicken soup

This recipe is from Marco Canora’s cookbook A Good Food Day. Just when you thought you’ve seen enough chicken soup recipes, this one demands your attention. It’s healing just like an American chicken noodle and Jewish matzoh ball soup, yet has its own flavor and texture profile thanks to the addition of jalapeño slices, radishes, lime juice, and other Mexican-inspired ingredients.

If you travel to the awe-inspiring markets in Mexico, you’re likely to see a soup stall dishing up similar soup, aka “caldo de pollo”  served with steaming tortillas, salsas with small spoons, and perhaps more limes on the side.

Mexican chicken soup

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tomatoes, halved, juiced, and roughly chopped or 1 (14.5 oz.) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 7 cups Organic Chicken Brodo
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 avocados
  • Thinly sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and/or corn tortillas, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Let the chicken come to room temperature about 20 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil over high heat. When the oil slides easily across the pan, add the chicken skin-side down and cook, untouched, for 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced near the bone, about 30 minutes. Flip each breast and set the skillet aside until the chicken is cool enough to handle. Chop or shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding the skin and bones.
  3. In a large pot, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the carrots, celery, onions, and jalapeño. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, corn, and a few pinches of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chicken, cilantro, and lime juice and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. To serve, scoop one-quarter of an avocado into each bowl and chop it up into a few chunks. Ladle the soup over it and add any of the toppings you like.

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