Chicken Enchilada Soup
Imagine holding an enchilada in your right hand. Now imagine holding a tamale in your left hand. Ok, smush those puppies together over a bowl and WHAM! you’ve got yourself a big old bowl of the thickest, tastiest enchilada soup that a white girl can come up with.
Most of the enchilada soup recipes I’ve come across in the past have a thin, watery broth. Not really my cup of tea. I wanted a super thick, super creamy broth…and I found it! You wanna know the secret?? Masa harina!! Masa is the Spanish word for dough. It is a corn dough made from freshly prepared hominy, most commonly used for making tamales or pupusas. I found my bag of masa flour in the Mexican food aisle. The brand I used was Maseca Instant Corn Flour (gluten free too).
Masa harina is the dried form of masa..also known as my sneaky little secret ingredient.
The end result is an amazingly thick, amazingly delicious…chicken enchilada soup!!
Before adding the masa harina to the soup base, it is reconstituted by mixing it with water, developing a thick, batter like consistency…and boy does it thicken this soup up nicety nice!
I first made this enchilada soup about 5 or 6 years ago during a party my husband and I hosted (the pre-baby years…booze..ciggies..lots of craziness). Talk about a hit baby! I doubled the recipe then and it fed about fifteen…hungry people servings. By the end of the night, I could see the bottom of my gigantic soup pot…easy cleanup..ya ya ya!
You will love it too, I’m sure, unless you hate good food, then you probably won’t like it. 🙂
First things first, we brown up a few good old boneless, skinless chicken boobs in some olive oil. Afterwards, we throw in a little diced onion and garlic and make your house smell ah..mazing! Some chili powder and cumin go into the pot for a couple short minutes and then we scrape up all those browned bits with some chicken broth and enchilada sauce. Here comes the masa baby!! Stir in that reconstituted masa, snuggle our chicken boobies back into the pot and simmer away.
Shred that chicken and sharp cheddar!! Chop that cilantro! Squeeze those beautiful green limes!! Fry up those tortilla strips.
Warning: spoons may shake in anticipation!!
Enough talk though, let’s get this soup show on the road!! There’s hungry mouths to feed, and compliments to receive. I promise empty bowls and licked clean utensils. Enjoy…Slurp, slurp! I would love to hear what you think about this soup!! Shoot me a comment if you try it, or hashtag your photo on instagram…#thethinpig …cause I wanna it see darn it!
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 breasts)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping in the end
- 1 cup of enchilada sauce
- 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of masa harina
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado, sliced or diced
- **3 white corn tortillas cut into long strips (fried---see note below)**
- 1-2 limes
- Whisk masa harina with 2 cups of water until well blended. Set aside.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot (oil should be shimmery, but not smoking), add olive oil and coat the bottom. Add chicken breasts to hot oil and brown them 2 minutes on each side.
- Remove chicken to a plate.
- Into same pot, add the onion and garlic and saute until onion becomes translucent (about 5 min).
- Add the chili powder, cumin, and 1 tsp of salt to the pot and stir around for a couple of minutes to toast the spices.
- Add enchilada sauce to pot and scrape up any bits on the bottom.
- Pour the masa mixture into the pot, along with the extra cup of water, the chicken broth, and the 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and stir while you bring it to a simmer.
- Once at a simmer, add the chicken back to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the pot to cool and then shred it with 2 forks.
- Add shredded chicken back to pot and simmer until soup thickens, about 30 minutes more.
- TASTE THE SOUP AND ADD MORE SALT, AND PEPPER TO YOUR TASTE!! Keep tasting until it tastes just right!!
- Top bowls with cilantro, avocado, tortilla strips, and juiced limes.
- To fry tortilla strips, add 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil to a small pan. Heat over medium heat. When oil is hot, place a handful of strips into the hot oil, stirring carefully until they barely start to color. Remove strips to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle the strips with some sea salt (I like maldon).
- Continue adding strips until you are done!