~ Easy-Does-It Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup ~
When 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.
There 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."
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 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
~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).
~ 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 15-30 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.
grated habanero cheddar cheese, or your favorite cheddar, grated
Mexican crema (or sour cream)
chopped cilantro leaves
my easy ~ Crispy & Crunchy Corn Tortilla Wisps ~, instructions below:
Add 1/4" corn oil to a 12" skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until wavy lines appear on the surface.
~ Step 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:
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; 6 1/2-quart crockpot; large slotted spoon; 12" skillet, preferably nonstick; paper towels
Cook'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)