Free-Range Mexican Chicken Soup

Ahhh, a good quick tasty soup that will impress all of your friends and also FEED all of your friends without burning a hole in your wallet!  Witness: Free-Range Mexican Chicken Soup!


Yummy Mexican Chicken Soup (sorry not totally in focus!)

Yummy Mexican Chicken Soup (sorry not totally in focus!)

Okay, my people, here is the greatest recipe perhaps of all time.  I openly admit I got it from Rachel Ray’s 30-Minute Meals, so please feel free to make her version which is super tasty as well, however it took me longer than 30 minutes and had a few too many foreign-sounding ingredients, like coriander (whaa??), so I’ve simplified it and brought you the results!  And the best thing about this recipe is that not only is it way tasty and way easy, it makes enough for a few days, and you can even add some water to the leftovers to make more broth!

TOOLS:
Big knife
Cutting board
Wide, deepish, wok-like frying pan (just make sure it comes up at the edges – we’re talking soup here, not pancakes, people.)
Tongs or spatula or both
Medium-sized saucepan
Garbage bowl (will come in very handy with this one!)

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb-ish FREE RANGE boneless chicken breasts or tenders
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 packet of fajita seasoning
2 cans
fire-roasted diced tomatoes or the organic version
2 cubes vegetable buillon
Thyme, salt, pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Ok, ready?  This is so easy.  First pour 4 cups of water (so I guess you need a measuring cup, too) into the saucepan and bring to a boil, add the two vegetable bouillon cubes and stir to dissolve.  Where the hell do I get vegetable bouillon cubes, you ask?  Just hit the Soup aisle of your grocery store, and look for

Knorr cubes

Next, chop the tops off of the green pepper and the  jalapeno, cut the jalapeno in half, cut out the seeds and white bits, and dice the rest into small pieces.  Chop up the green pepper and onion as well, put on a plate to the side.  All seeds, tops, onion skins go in the garbage bowl.  (Onion HINT: chop off the ends first, cut in half crosswise, then cut each half in half, THEN peel off tough outer skin, and chop the quarters.  This makes it all less intimidating to me.)

Chop up the chicken as small as you can stand to chop it.  Slicing raw chicken is about as fun as doing your taxes, so just slice ’til you’re over it, and throw all weird fatty, bloddy yucky bits in the garbage bowl.

Okay, that’s all your prep work done!  Now time to cook.  (And of course you can see that you could start the chopping while the water was boiling and the bouillon cubes were dissolving, right?  Please pay attention, people.)

Swirl the olive oil twice around your big pan and spread it around to cover the surface.  Turn the burner to medium high, let it heat for 30 seconds, and then put the chicken in.  2 minutes on one side, then 2 minutes on the other, then add the vegetables.  Sprinkle the pan with dried thyme, salt, pepper, and about a third of the fajita seasoning packet.  Cook it all for 8-10 minutes, stirring seasonings around, until the onions and peppers are floppy.  You can also be further cutting the chicken pieces with the spatula during this time if you got sick of fighting it on the cutting board.

Pour in the two cans of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and the vegetable broth from the saucepan and bring back to a boil.  SERVE AND ENJOY!

How easy was THAT, eh?  You can also add more fajita seasoning, another jalapeno, skip the salt, whatever you like!  Your friends will think you’re a kitchen GENIUS, and you will be happily (and healthily) fed for days.  You can also FREEZE baggies of the soup and eat much, much later.  My mother just told me today that she enjoyed the last bag of soup for lunch… which I made for her in JANUARY!

wuv,
Sam

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