Mexican Chicken Soup with Jalapeno

Mexican Chicken Soup with fresh Jalapeno
My but prices are going through the roof!! Have you noticed?? I went to the market yesterday to purchase 4 bone in skin on split chicken breasts (2 whole breasts cut in half) to oven roast to make this spicy soup. I paid almost $10.!!!! I was floored. I looked at a whole chicken for $13. operational word here is looked!!!

The reason I was looking at the supermarket was my butcher only has whole free range chickens and boneless, skinless breasts.

This morning I phoned Randy Pearson, owner and Butcher at Rivertown Butcher Shop. I asked his what he was selling his whole free range chickens for these days and his answer was $1.49 @ pound. I asked if I were to order 6 chickens if he could cut, package, and freezer wrap them to my specific request and he said sure.

I asked him to split the breasts and leave the bone and skin on and make 4 packages of 3 each. Next I requested 3 packages of 4 drumsticks each freezer wrapped. I asked him to debone the thigh meat and cut for stir fry and divide into 2 packages and freezer wrap. I asked him to remove the wing tips and package them with the backs all in one bag and freezer wrap for stock. Last but far from least I requested all of the wings be in one package and freezer wrapped.

So Saturday I will pick up 11 freezer wrapped packages of chicken and he didn't charge me a dime extra for cutting and wrapping to order. 

If you go back and look at the fact I just paid 10.  dollars for 4 split breasts and I am going to have 12 split breasts,  it is time for a little math.  Randy said his chickens run 3-3.5 pounds each, weighing 3.5 pounds x6=21 pounds x$1.49=$31.29 total cost. 

By comparison if I had purchased 8 more chicken breast halves to go with the 4 I bought from the market they would cost at around $30.......I would say I have saved significant money by purchasing my chicken at the butcher shop!! For an additional $4.29 I have at least a dozen meals.

Now lets talk inspiration, peppers, and soup.....I have two pepper plants full of peppers. One bush is Jalapeno and the other Chili. The temperature is dropping like a rock today and this is a great soup to use up some of those peppers and to warm the cockles!! I have been drying them too.

The other inspiration was a soup I watched Ina Garten make the other day on the Barefoot Contessa.
My adaption included the addition of pinto beans and whole kernel corn to the mix for a perfectly good slow carb diet dish minus the added tortillas for thickening.


4 split chicken breasts (2 whole split with skin)
Macadamia Nut Oil or Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 lg. chopped onions
1 C. diced celery
2 C. sliced carrots
4 lg. cloves chopped garlic
2 1/2 Qt. homemade chicken stock (store bought if you have to)
28 Oz. can crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans
1 can whole kernel corn
4 Jalapeno peppers (faint of heart can use 2-3) seeded and minced
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander seed
1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro leaves (use parsley if you don't care for cilantro)
6 (6" fresh white corn tortillas) * Omit this if you are planning to use this as a slow carb dish, it is only used to thicken the soup a bit.
Fresh avocado for garnish if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a half sheet pan with foil and place the chicken bone side down on the foil. Rub well with a bit of oil and season well with the salt and pepper. Roast in the prepared oven for 40-45 minutes until juices run clear.

Cool the chicken then discard the skin and bones and shred the chicken in no larger than spoon sized pieces. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 T. oil in a large heavy bottomed kettle or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery, and carrots cooking over med-low heat for about 10 minutes until the onions just start to brown. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. 

Add the stock, tomatoes, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, 1 T. salt, 1 t. pepper, half of the cilantro, the beans, and the corn. Cut the tortillas in half if you are using them and then crosswise into 1/2" strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Next add the shredded chicken and check for seasoning, adjusting as necessary.

Serve this delicious soup pipping hot topped with avocado or cilantro as garnish. You may also want to pass the sour cream and shredded Cheddar cheese with broken tortilla chips.

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