Tortilla Soup with Shredded Chicken and Avocado Relish

April 17, 2012 9:09:29 AM PDT
Randy Zweiban, the owner and executive chef from Province, shares his recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.

(Serves 8)

3 chicken legs
3 chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups canola oil, divided
6 white corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 cup diced red onion
6 tomatillos, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 medium red peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 quarts vegetable broth or stock

For the avocado relish:
1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and finely diced
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Saute chicken until nicely browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from pan, set aside.

Add remaining oil to the pan and heat to 175°F, checking the temperature with a thermometer. Return chicken to pan and cover with lid or heavy- duty foil.

Roast in oven for 35-40 minutes or until meat is fork-tender. Remove chicken from pan, reserving the oil. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred, discarding skin and bones.

Heat the oil back up to 325°F. Fry the tortilla strips until crispy, about 1-2 minutes. Drain the strips on paper towels. Pour off all but one-quarter of the oil.

Heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, tomatillos, garlic, and chile until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, broth, and all but 1 cup of the crispy tortillas.