Grilled chicken tortilla soup with tequila crema

  • For the marinade
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60ml silver tequila
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
  • For the soup base
  • 1 jalapeno, roasted and minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder, plus extra to dust tortilla strips
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.9L chicken stock, make sure this is stock, not broth
  • 410g tinned crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 corn tortilla, cut into strips
  • For the assembly
  • 590ml vegetable oil, for frying
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Pinch chilli powder
  • 150ml soured cream
  • 2 tbsp tequila
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted and flesh diced
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
1) Put the oil, tequila, lime juice, chipotle pepper, cumin, chilli powder, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Put the marinade in a plastic bag along with the chicken. Seal the bag and refrigerate for six to eight hours.

2) Preheat a grill or griddle pan to medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno and grill until the skin is well charred. Remove the jalapeno to a small bowl and cover with cling film to sweat the skin. When cool enough to handle, remove the stem, skin and seeds, then finely mince.

3) Heat a large, heavy bottom pan over a medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onion and saute until starting to caramelise, about five to seven minutes. Add the garlic, minced jalapeno, chilli powder, cumin, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook about three or four minutes, being careful not to burn the mixture.

4) Deglaze the pan with some of the chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining chicken stock, the crushed tomatoes and the lime juice. Add the tortilla strips and bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

5) Whilst the soup base is simmering, heat a grill or griddle pan to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill, turning until cooked through, about 14 to 18 minutes. Remove from the grill to a large plate and, when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and shred. Keep warm.

6) Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 180°C. Add the tortilla strips and fry until they are golden brown. Remove to a kitchen paper-lined plate and season with one teaspoon of salt and a pinch of chilli powder.

7) Combine the sour cream, two tablespoons of tequila, and the remaining lime zest in a small bowl and season with salt and one teaspoon of black pepper.

8) Put some of the shredded chicken in the bottom of each bowl and pour in the hot soup base. Top with diced avocado, fried tortilla strips, the tequila crema and some chopped coriander. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

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