Well, we failed again in our attempt to recapture our spicy chicken soup glory from 2 years ago. Despite this year’s recipe turning out far superior (in our opinion) to ones we have made before, it failed to gather support from either the judges or the crowd at hand. The reactions to the spicy soup, although not too terribly spicy, were quite entertaining. At least one person claimed it was the best soup they had ever tried and begged for the recipe on the spot. Others were merely complimentary. One woman, upon finding out that it was spicy, said “I don’t like anything spicy” and promptly went and dropped her sample cup in the trash can without even tasting it.
Entertaining, to say the least.
All that said, this is the 2010 version of our annual spicy chicken soup recipe. “Jewish penicillin,” we call it. Enjoy!
Spicy Chicken and Rice Pepper Pot Soup
By Joe & Linda Levinson
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
6-8 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 cups cooked wild rice
4 large onions, diced
12 stalks celery, diced
12 cloves garlic, minced
8 teaspoons fresh thyme
6 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
red, orange, yellow bell peppers, 1 each, diced medium
2 green bell peppers, diced medium
2 poblano peppers, diced medium
8 large jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and chopped
2 serrano peppers, de-seeded and chopped
1 habanero pepper, de-seeded and chopped
4 10-ounce packages of chopped frozen spinach, thawed
4 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 jars spicy salsa
10 32-ounce containers of chicken stock
3 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 large container blackening seasoning
water, as needed
First, prepare the blackened chicken. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts. Rub blackening seasoning onto each side and blacken by cooking each breast a few minutes on each side in a skillet. Place the blackened chicken breasts into oven pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow chicken to cool and cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Heat the oil in your large soup pot. Add the celery, onions, peppers, and garlic to the hot oil and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the diced chicken and all other soup ingredients, except the rice, and cook covered for several hours on the stovetop on medium heat. As the soup cooks, it concentrates a bit, so add water to desired taste and spice level.
When close to desire serving time, add cooked rice to the soup and serve. This prevents the rice from getting too mushy over time as it cooks with the soup.
The spice level with this soup can vary with your use of the peppers. For a hotter soup, do not de-seed the peppers. The heat level of this soup, as listed above, should be considered medium.
Makes approximately 4 gallons of soup. Since this soup has a very Hispanic flavor to it, we say: