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Chicken and Mushroom Posole Soup


CHICKEN and MUSHROOM POSOLE SOUP
Mesa Grill Recipe

2 (8 oz.) boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves (see note)
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 ancho chiles
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup canned posole (hominy), rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
Fried Blue and White Corn Tortilla Strips  (recipe follows), for garnish
chopped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)
lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the chicken on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, discard the skin and shred the meat. Set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, put the anchos and porcini in separate small bowls. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and pour the hot water over the anchos and porcini just to cover. Let soak for about 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain, seed, and thinly slice the anchos. Drain and chop the porcini.

Pour the stock into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the anchos, porcini, and posole and cook for 15 minutes. Add the chicken and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the Cheddar cheese, some of the fried tortilla strips, chives, and lime. Serves 4 to 6.

NOTE If you have leftover roasted chicken, use it here—you'll need about 2 cups shredded. And if you don't feel like frying, substitute good-quality tortilla chips for the fried tortilla strips.

Fried Blue and White Corn Tortilla Strips:
2 cups canola oil
2 (6 inch) blue corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
2 (6 inch) white corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
Kosher salt

Heat the oil in a high-sided large saute pan or shallow pot until it reaches 350 degrees  as measured on a deep frying thermometer. Add the tortilla strips in 2 batches and cook, turning once, until just crisp, 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt immediately. These can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container. Serves 4 to 6.

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