A flavorful, meaty chicken stock is served over sauteed vegetables and fried cubes of potatoes in this stew seasoned with epazote, cumin and oregano. Garnish with avocado, tortilla chips and grated jack cheese.
INGREDIENTS (for 5 servings):
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 onions, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 4 quarts water
- 2 (2 to 3 pound) whole chickens, cut into pieces
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs epazote
- 16 ounces tomato paste
- 1 red bell peppers, julienned
- 1 cup green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 carrots, sliced thin
- 2 cups thinly sliced celery
- 3 cups zucchini, diced
- 3 potatoes
- 1 pound spinach, rinsed and chopped
- 2 avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 1/2 pounds shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 3 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips
- salt to taste
Heat olive oil in large skillet and saute onions and garlic over low heat until they are translucent and soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, cumin, and black pepper, and cook over low heat, partially covered, another 10-12 minutes. Let cool, then blend in a processor until smooth. Set aside.
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add chicken, bay leaves, and epazote. Water should cover chicken by an inch or so. Skim off foam and fat that surface in first 5 minutes. Add reserved puree and tomato paste and cook; partially covered, with liquid at rolling simmer, for another 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones, then shred.
Add peppers, carrots, and celery to broth and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from broth with slotted spoon. Salt broth to taste.
Peel and parboil potatoes. Then dice and saute in a little olive oil until brown.
Place a scoop of vegetables and a heaping tablespoon of potatoes in a large soup bowl. Next, add tortilla strips, spinach, shredded chicken, avocado, and cheese. Pour piping-hot broth over everything and serve immediately.