Thursday, December 9, 2010

Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken Broth and Chicken Tortilla Soup - OH My!


Last week we had a most fabulous dinner of Chicken Tortilla soup. Part of the reason it was so delectable is that I had the pleasure of prepping nearly every aspect of the soup from 'scratch'. No canned tomatos, no chicken granules or broth from a box - I rocked this whole meal from broth the finished product.

I'm a bit proud of this accomplishment.

Let's begin with the story of the Roasted Tomatos.

Having lived too long in the refrigerator their 'shelf life' was quickly approaching the end. My history with food that's on the outs taught me a number of tricks to 'save' food at this stage of its life. I simply sliced the tomaotes in half, laid them out on the roasting pan/cookie sheet, threw some chiles in for added flavor and to save their lives as well - pop it all in the oven for about an hour, enjoying the delectable smell of roasting peppers. An hour or so in an oven causes the skins of the tomatos to losen their grip on the pulp making for easy removal. To prepare tomatos for future tomato purpose simply remove skins, chop tomatoes or through into a blender - add some kick by adding a chile or two (I did two and it was spectacular) and you have some delicous-ness just begging to go into a soup!

Now the story of Chicken Broth.

Home-made Chicken Broth is as easy as 1-2-3 with a slowcooker. 1-Throw a chicken carcass into the slow cooker with some onions, carrot and celery. 2- Add enough water to cover the bird bones. 3 - cook on high for about 4 hours. (Okay, maybe there's a step 4 and 5). 4 - Ladle broth into containers of choice for freezing or refridgeration. 5 - Add chicken pieces to broth or use in Chicken Tortilla Soup!!! (Or any other chicken dish)
Now, the story you've all been waiting for: that of the Chicken Tortilla Soup...

Saute up some garlic and onions. Add two or three cups of liquid, perhaps the Chicken Broth you've just conquered. A bit of salt, pepper, canned or home-roasted tomatoes and chilies plus a healthy serving of cooked chicken (breast or from the chicken carcass which has now become chicken broth). Heat through. Throw in some cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese and/or a cheesy quesadilla! You will love it!

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