Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fiesta Chowder

I know, it's the day of the superbowl and everyone is eating dips and chips or ordering pizza or having barbeque sandwiches. Well, I figured I'd share a delicious Fiesta Chowder recipe, courtesy of Southern Living, that would bode well for a super bowl party. We had company over the weekend and everyone really liked it. It's one of my favorite soups and definately a good one to keep warm in the crock pot while people are over.

The original recipe called for cooked, chopped chicken, but I boiled and shredded mine this time--I wanted to see if it would work and it did. But I like either method just fine and included both methods.  I've even made this soup with Fri-Chik (vegetarian chicken). If you can't find a can of corn with red and green peppers, just use regular corn. I'll often use Rotel tomatoes and chilies and regular corn instead of the Mexican stewed tomatoes and chilies. It's really a fail-proof recipe! And a hit with all ages and sexes.

We served this soup with my hot corn dip (see recipe here), cheddar-chili bread (previous post), a wonderful strawberry orange almond salad (that my friend, Lindsay, brought over), and warm apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream (courtesy of my friend Chelsea). I'll see if I can procure those recipes for you all sometime. Dip, soup, bread, salad, comfort dessert, beer for the guys? Who's not going to be happy, right?

Adapted from Southern Living
The ingredient list may be long, but the results are fast and delicious.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (1.4-ounce) package fajita seasoning, divided
4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cubed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use olive oil when I do fry the chicken)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
3 cups water
1 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives (optional-but good!)
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed nacho cheese soup (I used cheddar cheese soup)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice (I squeezed half a lime)

Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions (my favorite), breadsticks (optional)
*Combine flour and 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Seal and shake to coat. Cook chicken in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat, stirring often, 4 minutes or until browned.

Reduce heat to medium-high; add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in remaining fajita seasoning, corn, next 5 ingredients, and, if desired, olives.

Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Remove lid, and stir in nacho (or Cheddar) cheese soup, chopped cilantro, and lime juice.

Garnish and serve with breadsticks, if desired (they recommend breadsticks, I recommend cheddar-chile bread--recipe to follow).

*Or use shredded boiled or roasted chicken and follow the recipe as follows (skipping the flour coating and frying, but adding all the fajita seasoning in with the soup).

NOTE: I threw everything except the condensed cheese soup in the crock pot (chicken was cooked this time) and left it on the lower setting for about 6-7 hours. An hour before serving, I added the nacho/Cheddar cheese soup and mixed it all in. It was a real winner in my book. So, you can try it that way too. Email me if you have any questions.

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