This is a soup made out of necessity. We were a bunch of hungry girls stuck in a desert that was experiencing record breaking rains. It was cold. What do you do when you are cold and wet? Make soup!
It’s sort of a cross between chicken and rice soup and tortilla soup, it was born of what left-over vegetables we had, plus a little supplemented chicken, and what we could find/utensils available to us in our hostel’s kitchen. It turned out better than any of us could have expected!
La Serena Chicken Soup
the brainchild of Erin Milliren
Bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (2 thighs, 3 legs)
1 1/2 yellow onions
1 green pepper
3-4 medium tomatoes
2-3 cups uncooked rice (based on personal preference, we may have even used more)
1 chili pepper (anaheim, poblano, jalapeno, etc)
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 limes
Cilantro, avocado, and slice lime for garnish. You could also use sour cream or cheese, but we didn’t have any.
Dice/slice all your veggies, but keep them separate. Leave as much of the chili pepper’s membrane and seeds in as you like (the more membrane and seeds the spicier the soup will be).
Heat some oil in a stock pot. Add minced garlic and 1/3 of the diced onion. Brown slightly. Add chicken pieces and brown those. When browned, add enough water to cover the chicken by about 1 inch (we also added some cilantro stems at this stage, I don’t know if it made a difference), boil until chicken is cooked, about 7-10 minutes after the water starts boiling. Remove chicken (and any cilantro stems you may have added), set aside to cool. Add rice, green and chili pepper, sliced carrots, and the juice of 2 limes to the stock pot, cook until rice is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
At the same time as you add the rice to the stock pot: Heat a splash of oil in a separate pan. Once this oil is hot add the rest of the diced onion and the diced tomatoes (juices, seeds, and all). Simmer covered until tomatoes have disintegrated.
While these things are cooking, remove the skin and fork-shred the chicken.
Once the rice has cooked add the tomato/onion mixture and the shredded chicken to the rice/veggie/stock mixture. Bring back to a simmer. Serve with garnish as desired.