Spicy Smoked Chicken Chowder with Homemade Tortilla Chips
The boys went out for barbeque the other night and were a little overzealous in their ordering; they came home with almost two full uneaten smoked chicken quarters. (I have a feeling they filled up on hush puppies). The chicken had a great flavor, but didn’t seem that appetizing just reheated, so I decided to craft a soup around the leftover chicken. I thought the smokiness would be best accentuated in a chowder (I briefly toyed with the idea of a smoked chicken tortilla soup, but I like my traditional recipe too much to mess with it). I did, however, decide to make some homemade corn tortilla chips to accompany the chowder, and I garnished the chowder with a couple of avocado slices, but, honestly, the avocado didn’t add much to the already amazing flavor of the chowder. As is typical with a newly created recipe – I tweeked it as I went. I decided to add diced red pepper (because it was a bit of an afterthought, I sauteed it separately after I had cooked most of the other vegetables, so it is not shown in the photos). The photos also show both sweet and red onion being sauteed; I had 1/2 leftover of each, so I used both. You can adjust the spice in the recipe, but I thought the level of spice was perfect as is. If you can’t find smoked chicken (you can always go to your local barbeque joint), you can certainly substitute regular chicken (rotisserie would be fine), but if you can find smoked chicken, it really adds a whole additional level of flavor.
- 2-3 Cups Shredded Smoked Chicken (skin removed)
- 1 Large Sweet Onion
- 1 Sweet Red Pepper – chopped
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper -seeds and membrane removed; finely chopped
- 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic – finely chopped
- 2-3 Large Russet Potatoes – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 16 Oz. Frozen Corn (can substitute canned)
- 3 Plum Tomatoes – seeded and chopped
- 4 Chipotle (in Adobe sauce) Peppers – seeds removed and chopped.
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4-1/3 Cup Flour
- 3 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Monterey Jack cheese – shredded
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Sprigs of Fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. Dried Thyme
Fill a medium stock pot with enough water to sufficiently cover potatoes; bring to a boil and add potatoes. Cook potatoes until al dente (just becoming fork tender), about 5-7 minutes. Drain potatoes and run under cold water to stop cooking process; set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno and red pepper and saute until onion is translucent and peppers are tender.Add potatoes and flour and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a stock pot, add tomatoes, corn, chipotle peppers, shredded chicken, chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme. Heat to just below a boil, and add cream. When cream is heated, add shredded cheese. Garnish with avocado slice, if desired. Serve with homemade tortilla chips or good crusty bread.
I started making homemade tortilla chips when I started making Chicken Tortilla Soup. As with most things, my kids have decided that store bought tortilla chips just don’t compare to the homemade kind. While the tortilla chips are worth the effort, there is frying involved and whenever there’s frying involved, there’s a mess involved. So I don’t make these chips that often, but when I do, I make sure to make a big batch and we eat them for days.
- 1 Package Fresh Corn Tortillas (sometimes found in the refrigerated section) – cut into quarters, at room temperature
- Corn Oil
In a fryer, or large stock pot, heat about 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees. Add 8-12 tortilla quarters (don’t overcrowd the pot or your oil temperature will drop quickly) and move around gently in oil, flipping when one side is browned. Remove chips from oil, immediately sprinkle generously with salt and allow to drain on paper towels. Repeat process until all tortilla quarters are fried.
To store: line a zipper bag with paper towels and store chips between paper towels.
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Smoked Turkey and Kale
This is a hearty but healthy soup. It’s been in the single digits here in Michigan, and this soup is a welcome warm-up. It’s great for dinner with a thick slice of crusty bread and a hunk of hard cheese (Parmesan, Romano or Asiago), or have it for lunch. I loaded the soup up with greens because I feel like our vegetable intake is always lacking in the winter, but you can certainly cut back on the amount of greens. I used dried beans that I soaked, but if you don’t have the time to soak the beans overnight, you can substitute canned beans. I used Great Northern Beans, but you can substitute any other type of white bean (including garbanzos), or use a combination of beans.
- 1 Medium Sweet Onion – chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic – finely chopped
- 2 TBS. Olive Oil
- 48 oz. Dried Great Northern (White) Beans (or your favorite white bean)
- 1 Smoked Turkey Leg
- 1/2-1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Cups Chopped Carrots (about 3 carrots)
- 1 Cup Celery – Chopped
- 64 Oz. Chicken Stock (about 12 Cups)
- 4-6 Cups Kale or Escarole (or other dark leafy green)
- Bay Leaf
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Thyme
Pour beans into a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. Drain the beans and set aside. Add the turkey leg to a medium stockpot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until turkey leg is cooked and tender – about 60-90 minutes. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic and saute until tender. Add smoked turkey leg, beans, and chicken stock, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until beans are al dente (about 15-20 minutes). Remove turkey leg from the pot, and, when cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the leg (discarding skin) and shred. Ladle out about 1 cup beans and 1/3 cup of cooking liquid and transfer to a blender or food processor. Puree bean mixture and return puree to stockpot. Add shredded turkey meat, carrots, celery, greens, and bay leaf and simmer until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and a sprig of fresh thyme.
Posted in Figure Friendly, Main Dishes, Recipes, Soup, Uncategorized
Tagged Bean Soup, Bean Soup with Kale and Smoked Turkey, Soup, Tuscan Bean Soup, Tuscan White Bean Soup, Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale, White Bean Soup