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Chicken Tortilla Soup, A Staple

After too many unsuccessful recipes, a T&T and teen counterpart favorite was busted out. I can remember the very first time I had Chicken Tortilla Soup. It was a local Tex-Mex chain food restaurant in my hometown with my cousin and we were sophomores in high school. The chain food was nothing to write home about but it was cheap and had free tea refills.  Their Chicken Tortilla Soup on the other hand was nothing like I had ever had before or since. It was completely unique. Tomato based, shredded chicken, crunchy tortilla strips, two slices of lime, and cheese. Always served piping hot with fresh chips on the side. When ordered with a side order queso and chips or spanish rice it was enough to share.

1 whole chicken, quartered 
1 small yellow onion, finely diced 
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 medium jalapeno, whole
1 bunch cilantro, cut in half across stems
28 oz tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon comino
2 cubes Pollo de Tomate
Salt and pepper

Thick tortilla chips, preferably strips
Spanish rice
Shredded cheddar cheese
Lime juice

Optional Toppings: 
Onions, diced 
Sour Cream
Avocado, sliced 
Jalapeno, fresh or canned 

In large stock pot add onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro stems, chicken, tomato sauce, chili powder, comino, tomate cubes, and water to cover with 2" extra. Boil chicken. Remove chicken, garlic, and jalapeno from stock and let cool.  While broth is cooling, shred chicken. Once broth is cooled, remove excess fat and return shredded chicken. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in large flat bowls with toppings of choice.

If I could only choose two topping I would choose lime juice and the chips. This soup only gets better with age. As leftovers start to run low, Spanish rice is added as a filler alongside the chips and cheese. If too much rice is added the soup becomes a thick stew and it could be eaten on chips. Messy but oh so yummy.

Scaled for Likability: Great

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