I have a friend named Natalie. She just turned 50 and jumped out of an airplane to mark the occasion. She also smiles non-stop, laughs from her soul, and creates new friendships by magnetically pulling diverse individuals into her orbit. She is silly and goofy and pretty and nice.
She gave me a recipe for this soup, generally. I changed it a bit, loved it, and then misplaced it. I went back through my photos of the first try, put the steps back together, and came up with this version. So, this is Natalie’s idea, except that it might not really be even remotely similar.
You can roast and peel and chop New Mexico chiles for this. I did that the first time and it is great. But this is one of those situations when the can is just so much easier and just as good. You can also use any chicken cut that you like, but I find tenders to be very convenient and easy to cook for “chopped chicken” purposes such as this and for chicken salads. I brine the tenders for 30 minutes in a salt and sugar solution to make sure they are as “tender” as the name might imply.
1½ pounds chicken tenders
¼ cup table salt (for brine)
¼ cup sugar (for brine)
3 carrots chopped coarsely
½ onion chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 (15.5 ounce) cans of low sodium chicken broth, divided use
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chiles
2 (15.5 ounce) cans white hominy, drained
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 large tomato chopped
1. To brine the chicken tenders, combine 2 quarts of water with the table salt and sugar in a gallon size re-sealable plastic bag. When the salt and sugar have dissolved completely, add the chicken tenders. Allow the chicken to sit in the brine solution for 30 minutes. Drain the water from the bag and rinse and drain the chicken again.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the coarsely chopped carrots and onions and sauté for three minutes. Add two cans of chicken broth. Add the chicken tenders and bring to a low simmer. Allow the chicken to cook for 10 minutes or until it is no longer pink on the inside. Remove the chicken with tongs and set aside on a plate. Strain the chicken broth and discard the carrots and onions. When the chicken has cooled, shred it using two forks.
3. Rinse the stockpot. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the stockpot. Add the chopped onions and sauté for three minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add the chopped green chilies and the hominy and stir to combine. Pour the strained chicken broth into the stockpot and bring the soup to a simmer.
4. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with about a quarter cup of the remaining can of chicken broth. Pour the cornstarch solution into the simmering soup and stir to combine. Add the remaining chicken broth to the soup. Allow the soup to simmer for three or four minutes to thicken. Add the shredded chicken and the chopped tomatoes. Add the cumin and the kosher salt. Bring the soup back to a simmer and then remove it from the heat and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.