Jimtown Chicken Sopa

Total Time:
3 hr
2 hr
5 min
55 min

8 servings

  • 6 poblano chiles
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons corn or canola oil, plus 1 cup for frying the tortillas
  • 3 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin, from toasted seeds
  • 2 cups roasted chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups Lupe's Salsa Verde, recipe follows, or other good-quality green salsa
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 cups shredded roasted chicken (from about a 3-pound bird)
  • 24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Nonstick spray
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, whisked until smooth, plus more for serving
  • Sprigs fresh cilantro, for serving, optional
  • Lupe's Salsa Verde:
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • Sugar, optional
  • Over an open flame gas burner or under a preheated broiler, roast the poblanos, turning them occasionally, until the skins are lightly but evenly charred. Steam the poblanos until cool in a closed paper bag. Rub away the burned skins, slit the poblanos open along one side and discard the seeds. Open each poblano out flat.

  • In a small, heavy skillet over low heat, toast the oregano, stirring often, until it is fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and cool.

  • In a medium skillet over moderate heat, warm 3 tablespoons oil. Add the onions, garlic, cumin and cooled oregano. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, salsa verde, chiles and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, partially cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the cilantro. Set aside 4 cups of this sauce. In a medium bowl, stir the remaining sauce into the chicken.

  • In a medium skillet, warm 1 cup oil. When it is hot but not smoking, fry the tortillas, 1 at a time, turning them once with tongs, until they are flexible; do not allow them to become crisp. Drain the tortillas on paper towels.

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a rectangular 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish, or any attractive ovenproof serving dish, with nonstick spray or canola oil.

  • Arrange 8 of the tortillas in an overlapping layer in the bottom of the dish. Spread half the chicken mixture evenly over the tortilla layer. Top with 8 more tortillas, overlapping them as necessary. Sprinkle 1/2 the Monterey Jack and 1/2 the Cheddar over the tortillas. Spread the remaining chicken mixture over the cheese. Arrange the poblanos in a layer over the chicken, overlapping them if necessary. Spread the reserved 4 cups sauce over the poblanos. Arrange the remaining 8 tortillas over the sauce. With a spatula, spread the sour cream over the tortillas. Top with the remaining Jack and Cheddar cheeses.

  • Bake until the top is lightly browned and the sopa is bubbling, about 45 minutes.

  • Let rest on a rack about 5 minutes before serving. Serve the sopa hot, topping each portion with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro, if desired.

  • Cook's Note: The sopa can be completely assembled, covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw the sopa, if frozen, in the refrigerator. Bring the chilled sopa to room temperature before baking.

  • This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Lupe's Salsa Verde:
  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the tomatillos and serranos, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool in ice water. Core the tomatillos.

  • In a blender, combine the tomatillos, half of the cilantro leaves, serranos, onions, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender jar and puree again until smooth.

  • Transfer to a bowl. Finely chop the remaining 3/4 cup cilantro. Stir the cilantro and green onions into the salsa. Adjust the seasoning, adding salt to taste and stirring in up to 1 teaspoon sugar, to taste, if the salsa seems bitter. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

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