I do believe certain foods are curative, not to mention comforting. Chicken soups are both of these things. Chicken soup is my go-to, my default, for comfort. Lordy Mercy don’t we all need all the comfort we can create right now? I know I do. Healthy, hearty, full of vegetables and broth, it is so very easy-as-this.
I started with half a store-bought broasted chicken tossed into a pot along with some carrots and celery, dried thyme leaves, salt, black pepper and water. After cooking down for a while, I removed the chicken pieces and pulled off any chunks of meat left on the bones and added back to the pot.
Half a head of cabbage chopped up and seared with a good splash of olive oil and a generous sprinkling one of my favorite spice mixes, Tajin. Do you know this mix? It is a Mexican seasoning made with chile peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice. It is often sprinkled on slices of fruit such as mango, melon and pineapple in Mexico. Tajin makes a great margarita or bloody mary rimmer and a fabulous rub for slabs of meat or fish. It can be found in most supermarkets and international markets everywhere in the United States. Once again another reason to say Viva Mexico!
Tajin seasoned cabbage seared in my favorite Lodge Cast Iron skillet just until slightly softened then added to the pot of chicken soup. It is just so very easy-as-this.
Be safe, eat as well as you can, take a walk, wear a mask and talk to friends.
Chicken Soup with Tajin Seared Cabbage
- half of a store-bought broasted chicken, in pieces
- 2 quarts of water
- 3 carrots, cut into pieces
- 3 stalks of celery, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 head of cabbage, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Tajin seasoning
- Add the chicken pieces to 2 quarts of water in a large pot. Toss in carrots and celery, thyme leaves, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes.
- Remove chicken pieces from the broth and let cool slightly. Pull all the meat from the bones, discarding skin and bones as you work. Add meat back to the pot.
- In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium high until it “shimmers”. Add the cabbage to the skillet and toss gently with a spoon to coat with oil. Sprinkle the Tajin seasoning over the cabbage and continue to toss as cabbage cooks for about 5-7 minutes and is slightly softened.
- Add cabbage to the pot with the chicken. Bring to a low boil. Turn to simmer and cook for about 15 more minutes. Serve hot with crusty bread and additional Tajin to sprinkle onto bowls as desired.
I just love this Southern city that shuts down neatly and absolutely at the first sign of a snowflake! I really do…totally…seriously. This morning I awoke to a hushed quiet…no clamor of jack-hammers, no hubbub of beeping trucks backing up, no babel of traffic…shhhhhh…it’s quiet here…can you hear it? I am right downtown and it is tranquil!
A day such as this calls for staying indoors & hot steaming bowls of chili. Any kind of chili you like. But how about my “Black Bean Mole Chili”? Thick with beans, tomatoes…spiced with chipotle chile powder, cocoa and freshly squeezed orange juice all cooked down to make a snow day anywhere more cozy!
Out my front window early morning.
Not a true “mole negro”, but with much of the same flavor as one I remember eating in Oaxaca a few years ago. That mole was so thick and dark red-black in color smothering the roasted chicken I was eating that the incredible flavor is forever part of my best-loved food memories. My version is in no way authentic, but is a tribute to the real thing.
Dark cocoa and chili pepper combined to enrich the other ingredients…all cooked down to a thick dark red-black color.
“Coconut Cornbread Cakes” made in one of my favorite Lodge Cast Iron pans.
Black Bean Mole Chili
Ingredients for Chili:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp Chipotle chili powder
- 1 Tbsp Cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 large cans diced tomatoes with juices
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan over medium high heat. Add onions to pan and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in, while stirring, the cocoa powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin powder, cinnamon and allspice. Turn heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes while stirring.
- Add orange juice to pan. Stir to blend and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Add black beans and tomatoes to the pan and bring to a low boil. Stirring often. Turn heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve with coconut cornbread cakes.
Ingredients for Coconut Cornbread:
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cup self-rising yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place cast iron pan (skillet or muffin tin) with coconut oil in the oven to heat while you make the batter.
- Mix together 1/2 cup of the coconut, cornmeal, flour, coconut milk, buttermilk and egg just until blended. Add more liquid if you need to.
- When pan is really hot, remove from oven and quickly pour in batter.
- Sprinkle top of batter with remaining 1/2 cup coconut and bake until cornbread is puffy and golden brown and the coconut is browned. Delicious served hot with chili.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com http://www.foodonfifth.com