Thursday, December 29, 2011
A blazing sun shines brigtly through the curtains, neighbors greet each other as they put their finishing touches on their Christmas lights, children race to their homes to catch a glimpse of their Christmas presents...a beautiful vision, stifled by my non-stop sneezing and sniffling. A miserable Christmas day ensued for me, that I was sure of. After 4 hopeless days of lying on the couch with my husband I craved homemade soup. Unfortunately, due to our contagious colds my husband and I were quarantined in the house, completely out of touch with anyone who could bring us homemade comfort food. We suffered with take out food...ok suffered is a bit dramatic...settled is more like it...oh who I am kidding! We relished each bit of sushi, pizza, gyros, burgers...that is until the fourth day...by the fourth day I was done. I wanted...I DEMANDED homemade food. I nudged my husband and looked as pitiful as possible...useless I thought...he does not know how to make comfort food...So we sat on the couch and continued to pig out on the last bits and bites of pizza and found comfort only in Afrin.
By the fifth day of laying on the couch, I had somehow gotten some energy back and decided that my body needed soup...chicken soup cures all sniffles. I needed chicken soup...chicken soup with a kick. All ethnicity have their version of a chicken soup, I am personally a huge fan of this one. It's simple and has a great kick that will blow through any sniffles. Two bowls of soup and one box of tissues later, I felt renewed. I walked away from my stove feeling a lot better and a little bit prouder...sniffle, sniffle, sniffle.
Caldo de Pollo...My Way
1.5 Pounds of Chicken Drum Sticks
5 Carrots, Sliced into Half-Moons
1/2 Large Onion, Diced
3 Stalks Celery, Sliced
5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Jalapeno, Seeded and Diced
3 Large Red Potatoes, Diced
1 Bunch of Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
4 Knorr's Caldo de Pollo Cubes *This is the secret to this soup. Every Mexican woman who I had worked with, told me that every good Mexican housewife keeps this in the back of her cupboard as her secret weapon. Be careful it they are high in sodium so make sure to taste the soup to ensure that it's not getting too salty*
1 Tsp Better Than Bouillion
1 Tsp Turmeric *This is MY secret weapon...it gives the soup a healthy yellow color without much flavor. People will think your soup was cooking for days after they see the gorgeous golden color.*
4 Whole Wheat Tortillas
Olive Oil for Brushing or A Misto Spray
8 cups Water
1. Place chicken into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then immediately lower to a slow simmer. Skim off all the skum off the top.
2. Once the soup is clear, add in all the vegetables and flavorings; everything except the cilantro, that comes into play later. Turn the soup down to a medium low and let it simmer, very, very gently. Taste the soup for proper flavor as it cooks and adjust as see fit. Simmer, for about 45 minutes or until desired flavor is achieved.
3. Preheat the oven to 450-degrees.
4. Place the tortilla rounds on a sheet pan. With a pastry brush, rub some olive oil onto them.
5. Place in the oven until golden brown and crispy.
6. Garnish soup with chopped cilantro. Serve soup with tortilla toasts, avocado, limes and diced fresh onion. Slurp. Enjoy. Repeat.