Despite its somewhat lengthy ingredient list, this recipe is very easy to prepare. If you desire a soup with mild spiciness, trim the ribs and seeds from the jalapeño and use the minimum amount of chipotle in adobo sauce. This is a favorite in our house.
- Tortilla Strips
8 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds), skin removed and well trimmed of excess fat
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 very large white onion (about 1 pound), trimmed of root end, quartered, and peeled
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 ⅛ teaspoon Table salt, divided
2 sprigs epazote, fresh, or 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
½ medium jalapeño chile
1 chipotle chile en adobo, plus up to 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Hass avocado, diced fine
8 ounces cotija cheese, crumbled, or Monterey Jack cheese, diced fine
Fresh cilantro leaves
Minced jalapeño pepepr
Mexican crema or sour cream
- FOR THE TORTILLA STRIPS:**
- Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Spread tortilla strips on rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and toss until evenly coated.
- Bake until strips are deep golden brown and crisped, about 14 minutes, rotating pan and shaking strips (to redistribute) halfway through baking time.
- Season strips lightly with salt; transfer to plate lined with several layers paper towels.
- FOR THE SOUP:
- While tortilla strips bake, bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate.
- Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids in strainer.
- When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.
- Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeño, chipotle chile, and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce in food processor until smooth.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering; add tomato/onion puree and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes.
- Stir strained broth into tomato mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes.
- Taste soup; if desired, add up to 2 teaspoons additional adobo sauce.
- Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
- To serve, place portions of tortilla strips in bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.