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Monday, October 7, 2013

The "I Don't Care if it's 90 degrees Out I'm Going to Make Soup" Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I looove fall! I'm not a huge fan of warm weather, and even less so of humid weather. So when it's still 90 degrees in October, it makes me a little cranky. I am happy that I am not currently working outside like usual (I'm a Before-Baby-Horse-Trainer) because then I would be downright miserable. 

At the first hint of "cooler" weather I started my favorite soups in the dinner rotation. This one is another adaptation of several from Pinterest. Mainly from the Pioneer Woman here. The biggest change from hers was not adding in the extra cups of water. One, because I didn't want to make that much soup and two, because I didn't notice I was supposed to until after it was done...  The other change I made was adding a can of enchilada sauce. I really liked the added flavor and spice. 

*I'm going to make a side note that applies to all my recipes: I am not an exact measurement cook. Especially with spices and one pot dishes. If you need that kind of structure (this drives my husband mad) then I apologize :)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix up your favorite taco seasonings in a bowl, I used paprika, cumin, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika (I really like paprika), garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle olive oil on chicken breasts and then sprinkle on some of the seasoning. Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes. Shred chicken with two forks. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.

Then add in your diced tomatoes (I used diced with green peppers and medium spiciness) PW used Rotel which works great too; chicken stock, tomato paste, and black beans. If you want more soup or not as concentrated flavor then add in a couple cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered. 

Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for another 30 minutes. This is the time to check seasonings and salt. 

My favorite part of this soup is homemade tortilla strips. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Get a stack of corn tortillas, about 2 per person, and cut into thin strips. Place on baking sheet and squeeze lime juice, olive oil, and some paprika over them. Toss to coat. Bake for 5-10 minutes depending on how crunchy you want them. You could also just crumble tortilla chips into soup, but I really love the flavor of the lime and paprika. 

Diced Avocados, cheddar cheese, diced red onion and cilantro all make this soup very hearty and filling. 

The other thing I love about this soup is how well it keeps in the fridge. I'm going to make extra next time and freeze a couple servings for lunch. 

  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  •  Cumin
  •  Chili Powder
  •  Garlic Powder
  •  paprika
  •  Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • ¼ cups Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • ¼ cups Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can DicedTomatoes And Green Chilies 
  • 32 ounces Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Hot Water (optional)
  • 1-2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
  • 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches

  • Diced Avocado
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Cilantro

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Delicious Roasted Chicken Recipe

This is one of our favorites at my house lately. I got the original recipe from Pinterest at:  and made a few changes.

This is a different take on the typical roasted chicken. I'm obsessed with sweet potatoes lately and they are delicious with the bacon!

Chicken thighs or legs (4-8 depending on how many you're serving)
1 pound sweet potatoes (or white potatoes) 
1 carrot
4 garlic cloves
4 oz bacon
1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 Chicken Bouillon cube
3 tbls oil
2-3 tsp seasoning salt (Old Bay etc)

Combine 3-4 TBL of olive oil with 3 tsp of seasoning salt (I like Old Bay, but Lawrys etc is fine too). Brush this over your chicken. You can also make your own seasoning mix with paprika, oregano, etc.

Dice up 4-6 slices of bacon (I like Alderwood smoked or maple) and saute in a large pan till crispy. There are two ways to cook this. Either do all of it in a large pan that can go from the stove top to the oven. This way you save all the flavor from the bacon. You can also cook the bacon and deglaze, then transfer to a roasting pan.

After bacon cooks, pour in 1/2 cup of white wine (or chicken stock) and deglaze the pan.You could also use a bouillon cube and water. 

Add remaining water or stock, then your veggies. I like to dice up carrots and sweet potatoes and throw in a couple of whole cloves of garlic. Toss to coat veggies in the juices. Place chicken over the veggies and roast at 400 degrees for 30-60 minutes (depends on what kind of meat you use, it's done when the skin is browned.) Halfway through bast chicken with juices in the pan and check for doneness. Sweet potatoes and carrots wont take as long as white potatoes. The good thing about using chicken thighs is they are hard to overcook. Keep an eye on the skin though so it doesn't burn. 

A quicker way to cook this is to add the chicken skin side down on the stove top after cooking the bacon and crisp up the skin then put in oven till  
                                                     juices run clear.

                                                      Garnish with sage for extra flavor.

Yum Yum!