Let me preface this by saying (as I’ve said before): I’m not soupy. I rarely order it at restaurants, don’t have cans of it in my house, and barely eat it when it comes with sushi. But when it’s literally freezing outside and you feel like spring is never going to show up, and you have an appreciation Mexican flavors and making things difficult for yourself, the siren call of this soup is too hard to resist.
This will never be me.
The recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken (like a rotisserie), but I didn’t have any. I did, however, have skinless, boneless chicken breasts that could do the trick if I cooked them first- which I did, using this method from The Kitchn, rubbing them down with a random packet of Ortega taco spices we had lying around. It made way more chicken than the recipe called for, making it quite hearty but not too much.
I’d like to point out that this recipe didn’t come without its fair share of adversity: the night I bought the ingredients, the bus home was late, and when it finally showed up, it drove right by with the driver gesticulating wildly (this is just one of my many terrible experiences with New Jersey Transit, but as I stood there in the cold on the side of a highway as a bus drove by, my rage was the only thing that kept me warm). That’s why I was super determined to make it delicious- and it was. And still is, because the recipe yields plenty- I think we’ve gotten 10 servings out of it and counting.
Averie’s 30 minute time is totally wrong (though I imagine it’s only the actual cooking time). From beginning to end, this took about 2.5-3 hours (including making the chicken, but while it was baking, I began to prep for the soup, so the overlap was considerable). Chopping, slicing, dicing, and getting everything together takes awhile, but it’s okay- make some extra tortilla crisps and snack on those. They’re good, and will keep your roommate from getting hangry while you cook.
The recipe is a bit long and involved and I’m not feeling great tonight, so you can find the it here. I served it with avocado and sour cream, which helped tone down the heat a little bit and, since avocado makes everything spectacular, knocked it out of the park.