- 1 chicken breast half, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed
- 8 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
- 3/4 cup finely chopped white onions
- 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup seeded, chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced Serrano chiles
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, cut into thin slices, for decoration
- 1 avocado, seeded and diced, for topping
Season the chicken with the cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt and set aside. In a large pot, heat 1/2 cup of the oil over high heat. Fry the tortilla strips in batches until golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as needed. Drain on paper towels.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan. Add the onion, Essence and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, garlic, tomatoes and chiles and saute for 3 minutes. Add the stock and lime juice and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Place 1 lime slice in each soup bowl and ladle the soup on top. Top each serving with diced avocado and serve the fried tortilla strips on the side.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.