Unless it is to avoid traffic or shave a few minutes off a long road trip (kids in tow of course), I am not typically a fan of shortcuts; especially when it comes to my cooking. But between running kids to and from school, back and forth to various soccer, football and baseball practices and whatever other activities those little bastards can’t do without, there are exceptions to this rule.
Being under employed and an inquisitive foodie, I often find myself milling about my local Skaggs, observing the latest culinary trends and searching for my next inspiration. Though this activity tends to be more about the passing of time than the discovery of my next culinary masterpiece, from time to time, I do come across something that peaks my interest. One particular day not so long ago, I passed by the deli counter and observed the infamous rotisserie chicken contraption. Like you, I have seen those infomercials where for 4 easy payments of $89.99, you too can be the proud owner of a Roto 10,000. Touted as an exceptional culinary device, this austonishing machine can not only cook a full meal for 4 in under 20 seconds, but it can teach your kids Algebra and make your whites brighter than ever before. Wow, I will have four please.
Being the Nancy Negative that I am, how possibly could a overcooked, sunburned bird be any good, right?????? However, as it happened to be this particular day, my schedule was packed and I needed a quick meal. “Give me two fine sir”. Much to my amazement, when I got those bad boys home, they were not only juicy and flavorful; but at $4.99 per apiece, they were a damn good bargain. Now, I am no math whiz, but sounds like to me the makers of the Roto 10,000 are selling me a bill of goods.
The recipe that follows is a perennial favorite come winter time. It is something that can be made for a quick weeknight meal or simmered low and slow on a cold, lazy Sunday afternoon. The longer it simmers the better it gets, but the recipe below will get you started. You can adjust the cooking time based on your schedule.
El Jeffe’s Tortilla Soup
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 15.5 oz can white hominy, drained
1 medium white onion, diced
1 small packet Sazon seasoning*
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
1t adobo sauce
2 bay leaves
¼ c cilantro, chopped
2 32 oz boxes Swasons Chicken Broth
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
Garnishments: sour cream, cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, purple onion
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add chopped onions and jalapeno, sautéing for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, chipotle and adobo sauce, sautéing for another 5 to 7 minutes. Once the juice from the tomatoes has evaporated, add chicken broth, bay leaves, hominy and cilantro. Bring ingredients to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, adding more chicken broth, beer or water if needed. Just prior to serving, add the chicken. Garnish with cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, avocado and/or purple onion.
* Sazon is a mexican soup seasoning made by Goya. There are several different flavor combinations. I use the one with corriander and annatto.