Friday, April 9, 2010

Crock Pot Tortilla Soup

I've owned a slow cooker for many years. At least seven. That's probably not many to many people, but it is to me. I've largely been afraid to use it, mostly because the first few recipes I tried were horrible. But I've learned a lot about cooking since then, and I love the convenience of it, especially with 2 unpredictable kids to take care of. This blog helped, too.

Here's something I have learned about it recently that has been tremendously valuable: boneless skinless chicken thighs are the best meat to cook in the thing. Because they are higher in fat content, they don't dry out like white meat chicken does, and so you can cook for a long time without worrying that it will ruin the meat in it. Plus, the meat shreds very easily at the end of cooking, making chicken chili and the like simple to do. And being able to put them in straight from the freezer is the ultimate in convenience.

Coming back from Austin recently made me crave some Tortilla Soup, all limey and crunchy, so I thought I'd give it a shot in the slow cooker. It turned out totally fantastic, and even Keith, who's not a fan of tomatoes, really liked it. The bonus part was that very little added salt was necessary because we used Fritos instead of regular tortilla chips, and those things are mad salty.

Here's the recipe...

2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small onion diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
1-2 bell peppers, any color (I used red and orange)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 small can corn, drained
1 tsp cumin
dash cayenne
salt, pepper to taste

Dump in all in the crock. Turn on high for 4-6 hours, low for 6-8. Shred chicken with fork at the end of cooking time. Serve with lime juice, crushed Fritos, and shredded cheese. Cornbread too, if you like!

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