Monday, May 3, 2010

Chicken & Ancho Chile Soup with Hominy

My husband is not one for soup, so while he was out of town I made this...If I was glad he was out of town for any reason, it would have been to try out this soup!!!  But I sure do miss him so!  This is a must try if you love Mexican food. 

4 large ancho chiles, dried
2 cups boiling water
3 lbs chicken thighs (bones and skins on)
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
canola oil for browning
2 large shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
6 cups broth
1 can diced tomatoes
2 can hominy, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. Soak chiles in boiling water till softened about 25 minutes.  Transfer chiles and soaking liquid to a blender and process to a puree.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard solids.

2. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.  In a dutch oven (or a large heavy pot) warm 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat.  Work in batches to avoid overcrowding, place skin side down and cook till golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Turn chicken and cook till golden brown on the second side about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a large plate.  Brown remaining pieces, adding more oil to the pot if needed.  Remove skins from the chicken.

3. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot and place over medium heat.  Add chopped shallots and saute till softened about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook till fragrant, about 45 seconds.  Raise to high heat, add broth, and using a wooden spoon scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add chicken, tomatoes with their juices and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover partially.  Simmer till chicken is tender about 40 minutes.

4. Transfer chicken to a plate.  When cool enough to handle, shred meat and discard bones.  Stir in shredded chicken, hominy, and chile puree into the pot.  Simmer to blend the flavors about 15 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and ladle into bowls and serve with a lime wedge.

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