Mexican Tortilla Soup
1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
1 1/2 pounds bone in chicken breasts
10 cups water
1 onion, chopped
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed and dried
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small piece of cheesecloth
6-6-inch corn tortillas
Canola oil to mix with tortilla strips
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chicken bouillon
1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and cut into small dice
1 lime, cut into wedges
Prepare the Bouquet Garni: Using kitchen twine, tie the cilantro, peppercorns and garlic in a small piece of cheesecloth.
Prepare the Soup: Place the water and chicken into a stock pot, bring it to a boil, lower the heat and remove any impurities that rise to the surface. When the broth clears, add the tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, bouquet garni, and salt. Simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours. Season with more salt if needed. Remove from stove. Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Strain the stock over a fine mesh sieve. Separate the cooked chicken from the vegetables. Return the vegetables to the pot with stock, and puree. When chicken slightly cools, shred the chicken. Add the shredded chicken, corn, bouillon and black beans to the pot. Adjust seasonings, and continue to cook for another 25 to 30 minutes.
Prepare the Tortilla Strips: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stack tortillas on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut tortillas into 1/2-inch strips. Carefully mix together with the salt and a little canola oil, just to coat. Spread strips onto a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow tortilla strips to cool. Set aside. Serve with the assorted garnishes and the prepared tortilla strips.