In case you didn't know it's cold as hell in Atlanta right now and I am naturally craving hot meals and soup. Last night Brad and I went to see Taken 3 and as soon as we got out (great movie by the way) we were trying to decide what to eat. It was cold and raining and all I could think of was a hot bowl of Mexican Chicken Soup. It's just as comforting as it's American cousin - chicken noodle soup- but with more intense flavor. 

We stopped by our local Mexican joint and I prepared my palate for spicy satisfaction. Unfortunately, that is not what my palate got. Instead of intense tomato broth with tender shredded chicken and just the right amount of spice, I got a sad bowl of salty chicken broth with uncooked red onions and brown avocado chunks.

Lo siento indeed.

I came home feeling let down by Mexico in my time of need and all night I dreamt of what could have been.

Today, though, I was determined to have that perfect bowl of Mexican Chicken Soup so I went straight to the grocery and gathered everything I needed and went to work. Oh, the pure satisfaction I felt when eating this for lunch!!

Here is my recipe and final pics - hope you like it as much as I do:

• 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
• 3 tablespoons of oil of EVOO
• 2-3 teaspoons of a mix of ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and cayenne
• 1 large onion, diced
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
• 1-2 tbls tomato paste
• 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
• 1 28 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
• Juice of 3 limes
• 1 cup parsley (or cilantro)chopped
• Splash of your favorite hot sauce
• avocado and fresh herbs for garnish

1. Preheat your oven 375 degrees.. Place your chicken in a large glass baking dish, and pour one tablespoon of oil over all, coating well. Sprinkle your seasoning over the chicken , coating well, and place in the oven. Cook for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces) until cooked through and liquid from chicken runs clear. Cool and using two forks, shred the chicken
2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and when hot, add in the onions & celery ( season with S&P). Cook until onions are translucent, about 4-6 minutes.
3. Add in the garlic and pepper and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
4. Pour in the fire roasted tomatoes with juice, tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
5. Add 1/2 the herbs, hot sauce and lime juice. Taste to see what you’re in need of (salt? pepper? more of a kick?) and adjust as need be.
6. Reduce & simmer for 30-45 minutes.
7.Add chicken and any accumulated juices. Serve nice and hot with some fresh herbs and chopped up avocado to go on top.

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