White Girl Mexican Soup

white girl mexican soup | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

White Girl Mexican Soup
{ i'm having an affair }

What’s that? An affair you say? It’s not nearly as titillating…my current love is my slow cooker. Steamy stuff, I know. My slow cooker has been sitting, completely ignored and dusty in the back of the hallway closet. He burned me not quite a decade ago. I was making spaghetti and meatballs and thought this was slow-cooker perfection. What happened was a way too metallic-tasting sauce. Logically, I knew it was the temperature that did it (too high). But in the heat of the moment I blamed the slow cooker and banished him from the kitchen. A bit petulant? Yes. Can I hold a grudge? It would appear.

I’ve been on a cookbook bender lately. They’re stacked up everywhere (except the bathroom). That’s disgusting. Don’t even get me started on what happens when you flush the toilet. One cookbook languishing in my sunroom was The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka. Just sitting there eyeballing me while I toil away in the kitchen making cookies, cakes, shepherds pie…basically anything that will make my ass fatter. It takes commitment. However, one annoyingly hot November morning I caught myself getting dressed in the mirror. It was a profile, mind you. I don’t think I need to say any more. We’ve all been there. Needless to say, I dusted off Skinnytaste and found Chicken Enchilada Soup. I’m not gonna lie…I felt that feeling of hope. You mean I can eat well and not get fat? Whatttttt? It will taste good and be healthy? Come again? You get where I’m going with all of this? Healthy soup + slow cooker = happy, healthy Tai Tai with more free time. I had my way with the recipe, which I’m inclined to do. You know when you’ve been eating like you have the world’s fastest metabolism and then you stop and nothing, NOTHING, can squash that hunger except a Double-Double?

Since I was transitioning from treating my body like a trash can to a temple, I needed to add a little more substance to the recipe. I did this in the form of thigh meat, the rice underneath and  the crispy tortilla strips on top. So clearly it’s not as healthy as the original…nor does it completely resemble the original. But the original was a starting point in getting me to bust out the slow cooker. ‘Nuff said. This tastes like an awesome mix of enchiladas and chili and tortilla soup…three of my favorite things. I call it ‘White-Girl Mexican’ because this is about as authentic to Mexico as the Huaraches I wore in college. Definitely not ‘Hecho en Mexico’. More hecho en California. But who cares?  It’s perfect for those of us viviente en California that are pretending it’s cold outside.

RECIPE UPDATE: You can skip making your own tortilla chips and just buy them…as I do often. I also recently skipped sautéing the onions and garlic and just threw them right in with everything else…worked like a charm. This is the ULTIMATE lazy, delicious meal. Hope you love it! xo

photo-79

White Girl Mexican Soup

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (or you could use veggie)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless thigh meat (you can use all breast meat and it will be healthier, but I like the thighs because they hold their moisture and add some richness to the broth)
  • 32 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn…if you’re not feeling the corn kernels, you could do hominy. I didn’t put this in, but I kept thinking it would be tasty.
  • 1 teaspoon fresh poblano chili, seeded and chopped (you could add more…but I was making this for my kiddos and showed some restraint)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For Serving

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt (you could use sour cream…I actually prefer the Greek yogurt. Your choice.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut in half and then cut in skinny strips
  • 2 teaspoons veggie oil (you pick what kind)
  • Fresh limes and lots of ’em. I’m thinking at least a 6. The burst of fresh juice on top is perfecto. You like how I think I’m suddenly bilingual?
  • 1 cup cooked rice…I used a mix of white and brown rice to make it a little healthier.
  • I didn’t use avocado…but you could add some chopped up avo. I wouldn’t object.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put your raw chicken in the slow cooker. This doesn’t need to be cook or chopped or anything. Just throw it in as is.
  2. Put the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Put the onions in and sauté for two minutes. Keep an eye on them. You just want them to soften. Throw in the garlic and sauté for another 30ish seconds. Throw on top of the chicken.
  3. Here’s where it gets complicated…basically throw everything on top of the chicken. Why I ever divorced this beautiful piece of kitchen equipment is beyond me. Set the temperature on low. Set the timer on 6-8 hours and walk away. You heard me. Walk away and pretend none of this ever happened. Go see a matinee or get a massage. You suddenly have so much time. Or, you can be like the rest of us and go to work. Sigh.
  4. Between the 6 & 8 hour mark, shred your chicken with two forks. I just did the shredding in the cooker. But if you’re worried about hurting your slow cooker, then take it out and do this step…just return it to the cooker when you’re done.
  5. Just when you’re ready to eat, warm up a large skillet with that veggie oil in it. I’m thinking medium-high heat. Have some tongs handy. Put your tortilla strips in there. Let them get all toasty and tanned up and then flip ’em and repeat with the other side.
  6. Put the rice at the bottom of the bowl. Ladle the soup. Then go garnish crazy with the cilantro, Greek yogurt, cilantro and cheese. Don’t forget the lime. Best part. I really wanted to add the Bouchon Bakery corn muffins with this meal…but I was trying to be pious. Can you see my halo?
  7. *IF* you don’t have a slow cooker or are fundamentally opposed to them OR you too divorced your slow cooker, don’t fret. I would start out browning the chicken on a med-high-ish heat in some oil…in an oven-safe Dutch oven. Take the chicken out of the pan when they are browned and yummy, but not cooked, and set aside. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus the chicken, to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Erstwhile, heat your oven to a happy 250 degrees F. Put the pot in the oven and forgetaboutit. Check in about three hours. Is it ready to shred? Trust your judgment. It can hang in the oven longer. Follow the rest of the instructions. Easy peasy.
  8. One more quick note…let’s say you don’t have time or energy to prepare either way? Get a rotisserie chicken (one big bird or two smaller) and shred it up. Throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer for thirty. Done.
  9. I’m going to steal the Barefoot Contessa’s favorite line: “Now how easy was that?”

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