Soup: Mexican Chicken Stew

In my opinion, winter is the easiest time of the year to plan meals because we can eat soup. [Ha! I'm sure Mark would like to know, then, why so often lately he comes home from work and I wearily look at him and say: "Um... I have nothing going for dinner tonight, honey."] :)

But when I *do*, it's often SOUP!  I love making a big pot of soup and it's so easy to pair it with biscuits or muffins or a salad or fruit or crackers or whatever you have on hand- and call it dinner.

I'm going to share one of our favorite soups with you today. It's a great soup because it's quick to throw together and you usually have everything on hand (and if you don't now you will soon- on a regular basis- because it is THAT good.) You can also freeze it!

I'll give you the official recipe, below.  (Then I'll tell you how I usually do the chicken, which is a bit different than the recipe).

Mexican Chicken Stew (the chicken hasn't been added, yet)

Mexican Chicken Stew   *I double this recipe for our family

1 T olive oil
1 lb chicken breast, cubed (2-3)
1 cup chicken broth
1 4oz can mild green chilies
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup green onion

Heat oil in a large kettle over med-high heat.  Add chicken and cook 5-7 minutes.  Stir often.  Add all ingredients except green onions.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook 10 minutes.  Stir in green onions (or- if you don't have any, just skip this step, which is usually what I do).  Simmer for 5-10 minutes.  

Okay, this is how I do the chicken and stock:  
This morning I put a whole chicken in the crockpot with a few cups of water, an onion & some garlic cloves (chopped but with the skins still on), carrots, thyme, salt and pepper.  I cooked it on low for most of the day. The picture below was taken right after I spooned out the chicken pieces to cool before I take out the bones and cut up the chicken.

L: Crockpot with chicken stock (veggies need to be removed, still) and R: chicken waiting to be deboned

I already took out some stock to add to the soup pot, but I'll add the cooked chicken at the end.  I'll use 1-2 cups of chicken and then save the rest of the chicken in the fridge for another recipe later this week.  When the stock has cooled, I'll remove the veggies and pour it into containers and put it in the freezer for the next time a recipe calls for chicken broth! 

Now I'm off to take the bones out of the chicken and then make some cornbread!

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