- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If you’re ever trapped into grocery shopping after work, you know how wearing it can be. Everything except for the jumbo-size bag of chips looks like too much work. That’s when rotisserie chicken is at its most seductive.

You’re hungry, you’re tired and someone else has cooked a golden brown bird. The only drawback is size. Most chickens serve four, and if you’re cooking for two, you end up with leftovers. Chicken and tomatillo soup is the answer. Add leftover bits of chicken to a hot and tangy broth, and you have a delicious second meal in less than 20 minutes.

You may even get into the habit of buying rotisserie chicken, just so you have the fixings for this soup. Or you can grill a couple of extra chicken breasts the next time you cook outdoors and serve the chicken soup as a second night’s dinner.

If you’re not serving chicken the day you purchase or cook it, remove the meat from the bone to prevent spoilage. Wrap and refrigerate the chicken for up to two days.

To freeze cooked chicken, place the boned pieces in a plastic freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible, seal, mark with the date and freeze at zero degrees. For the best flavor and texture, use frozen chicken within four months. You don’t have to thaw the chicken before you add it to the soup, but allow for 5 minutes more simmering time.

Chicken and tomatillo soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 very small red onion or large shallot, finely chopped

1 small jalapeno chili, cored, seeded and minced

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 medium tomatillos, husked and chopped

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (the meat of one large chicken breast half)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

1 to 1 teaspoons lemon juice

cup cooked rice, optional

Corn tortillas, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces, optional

Heat oil in medium pot. Add onion or shallot, chili and garlic, and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatillos and cook for 1 minute over high heat to soften, stirring constantly. Add broth, chicken, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until tomatillos are tender. Sprinkle with cilantro. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

Taste soup. If it isn’t slightly tangy, add remaining teaspoon lemon juice. Spoon in rice and heat through or spoon soup into 2 bowls and top with a small handful of tortillas. Makes 2 servings.


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