Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tortilla Soup and Taquitos

I LOVE tortilla soup. It's one of my favorite things to get at Mexican restaurants. I've been on a quest to learn to make good tortilla soup. For my first try this turned out really good. I used my friend Tracy's recipe. She's a great cook. I ended up adding probably double or triple the amount of chilies she calls for, so you can do that to your taste, and I added a can of stewed tomatoes to the blender with the chilies. I also didn't add the tortillas to the broth while it was cooking.

I saw the taquitos made on Paula Dean's show. They were really good.

Tracy's Tortilla soup:

Puree 2 (seeded/soaked) ancho chiles, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes and 2 cloves of garlic in a blender. Fry in 2T oil for 4-5 minutes (until garlic is fragrant). In soup pot, bring 6 cups (can increase depending on servings intended) to a boil. Add 4 torn corn tortillas (again, increase if you are upping the liquid), rotisserie chicken (shredded) and 1/2 cup cilantro, simmer until tortillas break up and thicken soup. Add in chile mixture. Add salt to taste. Garnish with crisp tortilla strips, mexican cheese, avacado slices, cilantro and lime wedges.

Crispy Fried Tacos

Recipe courtesy Patricia Jinich

Prep Time:
45 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
1 hr 20 min


10 servings


* 4 pounds chicken breasts, with skin and bones
* 5 garlic cloves, smashed
* 2 tablespoons kosher salt
* 2 pounds Roma tomatoes, skinned
* 2 whole cloves (I didn't add)
* 8 black peppercorns
* 1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion
* 2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil, plus canola oil, for frying
* 2 bay leaves
* 3/4 cup heavy cream
* 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I didn't add)
* 10 corn tortillas, heated
* Wooden toothpicks
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
* Salsa Verde Pueblera, recipe follows, for dipping


Rinse chicken breast in cold water and add to a large pot. Cover with water and add 4 smashed garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Shred the chicken when it is cool enough to handle. Set aside 4 cups of chicken.

Put the tomatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until cooked through and soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender along with the remaining tablespoon of salt, whole cloves, peppercorns, white onion and remaining garlic clove. Puree until smooth.

Add 2 tablespoons of corn oil to a large pan, over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tomato puree, bay leaves and the shredded chicken and stir. Simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and bread crumbs and simmer until mixture has thickened again, about 4 to 5 more minutes. Mixture will be moist but not too wet, which will be perfect for filling the tacos.

Preheat the canola oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Heat the tortillas on a hot comal or dry skillet over medium heat for a minute. This will prevent them from breaking when rolling into a taco. Put 1 to 2 tablespoons of the filling on each tortilla and roll.

You can insert wooden toothpicks through 2 tacos at a time, so they will fry evenly and hold their shape. Once the oil is hot, dip the taco pairs in the hot oil. Fry until the tacos have crisped and gained a golden color, about 2 to 3 minutes. You may want to flip for another minute to the other side. Remove from the oil and put on a plate or tray covered with paper towels. Arrange the tacos on a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.

Serve alongside Salsa Verde Pueblera.

Cook's Note: If you don't want to fry the tacos, roll them, and toast them over a hot comal or dry skillet. Toast and turn until they are crisp enough to your liking. It will take about 5 minutes per side.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.

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