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Birria Inspired Chicken Soup

This one takes a hot minute to make but boy is it worth all the extra flavor.

Time: Up to 3 hours

Serves: 4 people

You’ll need (stew only)

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, bone removed

  • 3 hatch or green Chile peppers

  • 1 medium white onion

  • 4 large garlic cloves

  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce *canned

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • salt to taste

  • 1 cup dry white rice

  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels

  • toppings: cilantro, onion, sour cream, cheese


  1. Heat a large pot (mine holds 4 quarts) over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and add in the chicken. Sear each side for about 5 minutes or until they easily pull loose from the pan.

  2. While the chicken is searing, remove the stem and seeds from your chiles. Cut the chiles into thirds. Cut the onion into quarters, keeping the root in tact so the layers don’t fall apart. Remove the skin from the onion and from your garlic cloves.

  3. Add water to the pot until the chicken is covered by two inches. Add in the chiles, onion, garlic, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves into the pot. Stir everything together then cover the pot and simmer for an hour.

  4. After an hour, remove the lid. Now you can go one of two ways here. If you have an immersion blender you can remove the meat, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, and blend all the veggies right in the pot. If you do not have an immersion blender, remove the veggies (chiles, onion, garlic) and add them to a blender. Either way, before you blend add in tomato paste, oregano, paprika, and chipotle peppers. After blending add the meat or blended veggies back into the pot. Taste for salt and adjust. Cover and simmer for another hour.

  5. After an hour, remove the chicken. Use forks to shred it up and then transfer to a skillet and cook on medium heat until the edges start to crisp.

  6. Add the dry rice into the broth with two cups of water and let it simmer for 15 minutes then add in the corn.

  7. Add the chicken back into the pot. Split into bowls, top with toppings and enjoy!

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