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01/14/2016

~ Easy-Does-It Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup ~

IMG_0756When I use my crockpot, it's not because I have no time to cook, it's because what I'm letting it cook for me, without compromise, is really good.  It's no secret, I've never been a crockpot kinda gal, but, over the past few years I've mellowed.  I've made peace with mine, and, at present, I have more than a few uncompromisingly yummy slow cooker recipes.  I won't lie, that took work -- on my part.  Crockpots per se, and, the cryptic way almost all crockpot recipes are written are: not all that they are crocked up to be.  Without exception, every randomly searched recipe I ever tried required so much work to get it to my standard of good food that crediting any source would be an embarrassment -- to them.  I didn't just fix their recipes, I reworked and rewrote them.

IMG_0766There are exceptions to every rule, and, when it comes to today's recipe, which I found on a site called skinnyms.com (see Related Article link below), nothing had to be done to it to make it yummy -- it already was.  The changes I made were merely to suit my own taste.  As per their site: "This scrumptious soup takes no time at all to toss together.  From start to slow-cook, you only need 15 minutes to prep and mix all of the ingredients.  Then set it and forget it. When it's time for dinner, all you need to do is shred the chicken and ladle it into your bowls."

IMG_0719This recipe is an example of "pantry cooking" at its best.  Canned beans, corn & tomatoes combined with some chicken & a few spices = a healthy, hot & hearty harried-day soup supper!

IMG_0623For the chicken and vegetables:

1-1 1/2  pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders

1  14 1/2-ounce can chicken stock

1  15 1/2-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1-2  15 1/2-ounce cans kidney beans (cannellini beans are white kidney beans), drained 

1  15 1/2-ounce can whole kernel IMG_0637corn, drained

1  14 1/2-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1  10-ounce can red enchilada sauce (hot or mild)

1  4-ounce can diced green chiles, undrained

2  cups diced yellow or sweet onion

For my spices (skinnyms uses 1 tablespoon taco seasoning):

1 1/2  tablespoons chili powder blend

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1  teaspoon garlic powder

1  teaspoon Mexican oregano

1  teaspoon sea salt

1  teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper

IMG_0626 IMG_0627 IMG_0632 IMG_0641 IMG_0667~Step 1.  Arrange the chicken in the bottom of the crock. Add the stock, beans and corn. Add the tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chiles, onions and spices.  Give mixture a brief stir, put the lid on and cook for 4 hours on high setting.  Resist the urge to lift the lid during this 4 hours.  Reset the crockpot to low setting and cook for an additional 1-2 hours (two hours renders the chicken super-soft which I love).

IMG_0693 IMG_0677~ Step 2. Using a large slotted spoon, remove the chicken tenders, place them on a cutting board, and, using one or two forks, shred each one into small pieces.  Return shredded chicken to soup and give it a good stir.  

Note:  At this point I let the soup sit in the crockpot, on warm setting, for IMG_070915-30 minutes prior to serving, to allow the shredded chicken time to take on some of the juicy flavors of the broth.  There's more.  As with many things, this soup tastes even better the second day, so, don't hesitate to make it a day ahead!*

I used 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders and 2 cans of cannellini beans.  The yield is: 4 cups of shredded chicken and 10 cups soup before combining the two.

*When I refrigerate the entire batch of soup overnight, because the beans absorb moisture, I stir in another 14 1/2-ounce can chicken stock prior to gently reheating it on the stovetop.

IMG_0727For my favorite garnishes (skinnyms cilantro leaves and whole grain tortilla chips):

grated habanero cheddar cheese, or your favorite cheddar, grated

Mexican crema (or sour cream)

chopped cilantro leaves

lime wedges

my easy ~ Crispy & Crunchy Corn Tortilla Wisps ~, instructions below:  

6a0120a8551282970b01bb08aa6ef4970d 6a0120a8551282970b01bb08aa6f01970dStep 1. Cut 6 corn tortillas into quarters, stack a few at a time on top of each other and slice the quarters into very thin strips.

Add 1/4" corn oil to a 12" skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until wavy lines appear on the surface.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c805badf970b 6a0120a8551282970b01b7c805baed970bStep 2. Add all of the tortilla strips to the hot oil in the skillet.  Fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes, using a spatula to keep the wispy strips moving around in the oil the entire time. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with a generous grinding of sea salt.

Simply straightforward & scrumptious stewy-soup:

IMG_0741The three C's of yummy calories:  Cheddar, Crema & Chips!

IMG_0749Easy-Does-It Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup:  Approximately 3 quarts, depending upon if you use 1 or 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders and 1 or 2 cans of kidney beans.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 6 1/2-quart crockpot; large slotted spoon; 12" skillet, preferably nonstick; paper towels

IMG_0607Cook's Note:  For another "winner, winner family-friendly Tex-Mex chicken dinner", you can find my recipe for ~ Chicken, Cheddar & Chimichurri Veggie Patties ~,  in Categories 3, 13 or 19.  Go into Category  8 to get my 5-minute recipe for ~ Chimichurri:  The Sauce Steak Can't Live Without ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)

Comments

Penny -- I haven't met or heard from one person who doesn't love this easy-to-make soup. I make it quite often here too -- my husband loves it.

This is the very best recipe !!!
I make this at least once a month.
It will be even better this winter.

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