Friday, January 31, 2014

Mexican Chicken Soup

Anybody remember Tuesday's blog post for Lemon Rosemary Chicken?  Just in case you missed it - I added the link so you can go back and check it out.  It was so flavorful and juicy that I decided to turn the leftovers into a chicken soup.  I very loosely followed a recipe that I found on  I made quite a few substitutions to the original recipe but she definitely served as my inspiration for this hearty leftover creation.

Mexican Chicken Soup

3-4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Sliced avocado
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions starts to brown.

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 tablespoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock), 1 teaspoon pepper, and the cilantro, if using.

Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken and season to taste.

Serve the soup hot topped with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla strips.

This is how I "dressed" my bowl of soup...

I think that snowpocolypse is behind us but we can still enjoy a bowl of chicken soup.  I have another container of this soup in my freezer, ready to pull out during our next snow storm - or perhaps just for a chilly day. 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Technically I guess today is snow day two and a half for my kids.  (Since they did go to school for a half day on Tuesday, I won't count that as a complete snow day.) 


We all had a good time playing in the snow yesterday.  We did some sled riding, made a few snow angels, took the dog for a walk in the snow and even attempted a snow man.  (The snow man didn't really come together like we planned - I blame uncooperative snow.)  We did see this cute snowman in one of my neighbors yards though - super creative, don't you think?

Mia was very excited to be outside eating snowballs and chasing sleds yesterday.  She crashed out in front of the fire pretty early last night.

Who am I kidding?  After a day of sledding and snowball fights, we ALL crashed out pretty early last night.

I love snow days.

After our day in the snow, it felt good to come inside for a nice warm dinner.  Fried chicken sandwiches from Cook's Country seemed like a perfectly acceptable meal for snow day #1 1/2. 

Fried Chicken Sandwiches
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons water
2 egg whites
2 quarts peanut oil

Combine salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sage and cayenne.

Measure out 1 Tablespoon and set aside.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and use a meat pounder to pound each chicken breast into 1/2 inch thickness.

Season chicken with remaining 2 3/4 teaspoons spice mixture.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and reserved spice mixture.

Add water rub together with fingers until evenly incorporated and shaggy pieces form.

Place egg whites in a shallow dish and beat lightly.

Set wire rack over a foil lined baking sheet.  Grease rack.  Cut chicken pieces if too large.

Dip each piece of chicken in egg. 

Dip in breading.   Courtney did all of the breading for me last night which meant that I could be the photographer.  (Did I mention how much I love having them home on snow days?)

Set on rack and put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  (Or up to an hour)

Heat the oil to 375 in a dutch oven or a fry daddy.  (Thanks again for the fry daddy - daddy.)

Place chicken in oil and cook until internal temperature reaches 160.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

I borrowed a trick from our favorite fast food chicken restaurant and I toasted the buns and added a pickle to my fried chicken sandwiches. 

I thought that these were mighty tasty chicken sandwiches but the biggest compliment of all was that my family voted them even BETTER than their favorite fast food chicken sandwiches!  (In the world of me - that is the highest compliment that I could receive.) 

I think we just found our new snow day staple - fried chicken sandwiches.