Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Soup ~ Two Recipes... Also a Crock Pot Style

Here is two Chicken Enchilada Soups... try them both, see which one you like better. 

It’s cold and gloomy here which is perfect soup weather. Especially when that soup has a little heat of its own from some spicy jalapeno peppers.

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock 
1 tablespoon chicken soup base
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 (8 oz). can tomato sauce
1 (19 oz.) can enchilada sauce (or two 10 oz. cans)
6 small corn tortillas*, minced
16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
1 cup co-jack cheese, shredded
 22 oz. bag Tyson roasted and diced chicken, thawed
1 can whole kernel corn**, drained (optional)
Garnishes: pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, crunchy tortilla strips

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and saute the onions until they are tender.  Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or two, then scrape the onions and garlic into your crock pot.  Add all the other ingredients, except the chicken and corn.  Cook over high heat for two hours or low for four.  Whisk until smooth (you may wish to use a stick blender).  Add the chicken pieces and corn and heat through, maybe another 30 minutes to one hour. Check seasonings, and garnish as you like before serving.

*Most of the recipes that I found online called for one or two cups of masa harina to thicken the soup. The store I was shopping in didn't carry that, so I got the brilliant idea to just chop up some corn tortillas and let them dissolve in the soup. it worked perfectly, and gave the soup great flavor...just like chicken enchiladas!

**Chili's chicken enchilada soup doesn't have corn in it, but it's delicious in this, amplifying the corny flavor of the tortillas. You could even go crazy and also add a can or two of black beans. That would be yummy, too

 This chicken enchilada soup has a few extras in it like corn and black beans.  There is two kinds of cheese in this soup, one grated pepperjack cheese which adds some extra heat and melts beautifully and then some crumbled cotija cheese which has a very mild flavor but adds a delicious creaminess to the soup.  Poached the chicken in chicken stock with some spices and then shredded the chicken and returned it to the soup later in the cooking process.  You can use boneless or bone-in chicken for this just remove the skin before cooking.

You could also make this soup in a crockpot, you'll just have to extend the cooking times - expect that it will take at least 3-4 hours on high and you'll probably want to use a 5 quart crockpot.  You can cook the chicken prior to adding to the crockpot or just put it all in together using chicken breasts cut into smaller chunks.  Add everything except the cheese and cilantro and cook.  Add the cheese and most of the cilantro just before serving to allow it time to melt, serve and top with cilantro.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1  cup tomatoes sauce
4-6 jalapeno peppers, minced
  1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
8 oz pepperjack cheese, divided
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add chicken stock and heat over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken and set aside. Add tomatoe sauce, jalapenos, onion, and garlic to the pot.  Simmer about 30 minutes, covered, then begin to add the black beans, corn, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate.  Add cotija cheese and half of the pepperjack cheese and stir to melt.  Return chicken to soup and cook about 20 more minutes until desired consistency.

If soup isn't as thick as desired, you can add strips of flour tortillas.  They will dissolve into the soup to thicken the broth.  Add cilantro, reserving some to top individual bowls if desired.  Ladle into serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, reserved pepperjack cheese and cilantro if desired.

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