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FOOD: Soothing chicken soup with a kick

Lee Mathis
INSANELEE DECADENT
Free Press Food Columnist
Serving Chicken Noodle Soup
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

By the time this column comes out, I will be back in The Grand Valley. Yay!

While I do really like Virginia, the Grand Valley is where I call home and Dorothy had it right: “There’s no place like home!”

There is a reason that I have settled down here, not quite sure what it is, but with all of the places I have lived, East Coast, West Coast and beyond, and after many years of maybe trying to be something that I was not, it was here that I finally found my “groove” and started feeling comfortable in my own skin again; something I had not felt for way too many years.

But funny thing, as much as Tex-Mex and Mexican cooking are very well represented in Colorado, one of the best Mexican restaurants I have found anywhere is just outside of Richmond, in the town of Glen Allen located in Henrico County; it’s called Maya Mexican Grill and Tequila Café.

Now for those of you who know me, I do not go out to eat that much and for me to go back three times to a place in a week pretty much says it all. From the Alambre de Filet Mignon con Chorizo appetizer to the Carnitas Tacos with a Pineapple Salsa, everything we have tried on the menu is spot-on. And do not even get me started about their Chipotle Bourbon Tacos … so good I seriously wanted to lick the sauce off the plate. (Not too worry, I held back!)

I realize that not many of our Free Press readers will ever make it to Maya, but if you are around Richmond, it is a must-stop-in!

Check out their menu on their website and you will see what I have been enjoying — http://www.mayarva.com.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

Now in keeping with this theme, the “Website of the Week” comes from our friends at Thelatinkitchen.com. A great site with many, many recipes from appetizers to entrees to desserts and more. Our “Recipe of The Week” is from that same site — a great soup recipe to warm you up as old man winter rapidly approaches, Chipotle Chicken Soup.

http://www.thelatinkitchen.com/latin-fusion

Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. He can be reached via email at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, on the web at http://www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Also, find him on the web by searching Facebook, Pinterest or by visiting Twitter (@decadenceGJ).

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN SOUP

2 T. olive or neutral tasting oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium or 1/2 large onion, diced

2 medium carrots, halved, if large, and sliced

1 rib celery, diced

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth

½ cup rice

1 to 4 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped (depending on your spice tolerance)

*salt to taste

2 limes

¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add carrots and celery and continue to cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the whole chicken breasts or thighs along with the chicken broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the soup and place on a cutting board to cool. Stir in the chipotles and season with salt to taste. Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Meanwhile, shred or roughly chop the chicken.

Add the chicken back to the pot, along with the juice from 1 lime and cilantro. Slice the remaining lime into wedges and serve on the side

— Recipe courtesy of thelatinkitchen.com.


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