When I go shopping at the supermarket, I often make my protein decisions with leftovers in mind. A classic example of that is a whole roasting chicken. I don’t mind paying $8 for a chicken for two people because I know there are endless delicious dishes I can make with the left overs. One of those classics is Chicken Chili Soup. Here’s how you can make it without having to purchase a lot of special or separate ingredients.
I prefer using homemade stock from the skin and bones of the chicken, but you can use ready-made chicken broth or even vegetable broth if you’d prefer. For tips on making homemade stock, checkout “Homemade Soup: Preparing Your Freezer and Pantry.”
I usually include onions, carrots and celery in my stock, and pulverize them into a paste after cooking to help thicken the soup. Then I sauté more onions, green peppers and red bell peppers in olive oil to use as I assemble the soup. You can use whatever you have that matches the flavor profile, but onions should be considered mandatory.
If you don’t keep a lot of spices on hand you can use a taco seasoning packet to season your soup. Again, I prefer to mix my own, and I use cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and dehydrated onion flakes.
I throw in a can of diced tomatoes, a can of sweet whole kernel corn and one can of kidney or black beans. The corn adds a lot of sweetness to the dish, so if you don’t like that, just leave it out. Or better yet, substitute a can of yellow or white hominy instead. This is your guide to modify as you choose to please the palates of your family.
For soup, I prefer the texture and mouth feel of shredded chicken over that of chopped or diced. But again, that is up to you. Shredding takes a little longer, so if you’re in a hurry, you can just chop your leftover chicken up into small pieces.
One way to please the varying taste buds of your family is to offer a variety of toppings that they can add to their bowls at the table. Some suggestions are: diced green onions, jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro and oyster crackers.
The beauty of cooking with leftovers is the freedom you have to transform them into something totally different and new. Use recipes as a guide only and tweak them as needed to please your family or fit what you already have on hand.
‘Want this recipe? Click the link below:
Cher’s Chicken Chili Soup