Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
The fragrant limes that are abundant on the Yucatán peninsula make this soothing soup especially appealing. This recipe was crafted by Patricia Quintana, one of Mexico's best-known chefs. MAKE AHEAD: The chicken soup can be prepared through Step 5 up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate the shredded chicken and broth separately. Keep the fried tortilla strips in an airtight container. WINE: The acidic, citrusy notes in this soup call for a dry Australian Riesling with matching citrusy flavors, such as the 2003 Grosset Watervale or the 2002 Frankland Estate Isolation Ridge. From A Yucatan Adventure, Food & Wine, Dec. 2003.
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 1 large white onion, unpeeled, plus
- 1⁄2 cup minced onion, for garnish
- 21 garlic cloves, peeled (2 heads)
- 3 whole chicken breasts, on the bone (about 1 1/4 pounds each)
- 3 quarts chicken stock or 3 quarts low sodium chicken broth or 3 quarts water
- 2 limes, zest of, finely grated and limes halved, plus wedges for serving
- 20 allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican, plus more for sprinkling
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 large scallions, minced
- 12 corn tortillas, 6-inch (cut into thin strips)
- 2 banana peppers or 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Arrange the tomatoes on a small rimmed baking sheet. Set the unpeeled onion in a pie plate with 6 of the garlic cloves. Roast the vegetables on the top rack of the oven until blackened on top and tender, about 10 minutes for the garlic, 20 for the tomatoes and 30 for the onion. Let cool slightly, then cut the onion in half. Press the tomatoes through a coarse strainer.
- In a large saucepan, cover the chicken breasts with the stock. Add the lime zest and lime halves, allspice, oregano, the remaining 15 garlic cloves and a pinch each of salt and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the roasted onion, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a platter and let cool. Gently simmer the broth for 10 minutes, then strain. Wipe out the saucepan. Remove the chicken from the bones and tear it into thick shreds.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the saucepan. Add the scallions and roasted garlic; mash the cloves to a paste with a fork. Cook over moderately high heat until the scallions are browned, 4 minutes. Add the strained tomatoes and simmer until the fat separates from the sauce, about 5 minutes. Add the strained broth and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 cup of oil until shimmering. Add one-fourth of the tortilla strips and fry over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips, lowering the heat if the oil gets too hot.
- Add the chicken to the broth and cook until heated through. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the tortilla strips and sprinkle with oregano. Serve, passing lime wedges, minced onion and banana chiles at the table.
YUM! This soup is so fresh and wonderful! All the fresh ingredients combine quickly to make the best tasting and freshest soup! Adore the lime accent here! I didn't have any homemade stock to use- wish I had but I was out- so I had to use organic store bought. This would have been even more superb if I had homemade. The roasting of the vegetables makes this have a nice smoky element that adds another layer of flavor! WTG chef NCM! Fantastic recipe!