Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

So growing up in San Diego I have had more than my fair share of delicious mexican food.  One of my favorites was this Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup from Jorge's Mexican Food in Encinitas.  Whenever it gets chilly I always crave it.  But now that we are living in the Bay Area, we can't exactly hop in the car to go get a bowl of it, so I went out to make my own.

First things first, NOTHING will compare to Jorge's soup, but with that said, I think it turned out pretty good!  My version has more "stuff" in it compared to Jorge's that has a lot of broth but other than that it is pretty similar. It is definitely going to be a staple in our soup rotation for the next few months of cold weather!

[What you Need]

2 large chicken breast
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice
1 bunch cilantro
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 bulb garlic
1 jalapeno
1 large onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
1 avocado

***I added in some more crushed red pepper, paprika, and chili powder to make it extra spicy

[What to do]

Peel and chop all your garlic.  It will look like a lot but it will get cooked down and be delicious and tender!  Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and dice it up and mix it with the garlic.  Then dice you onion.  In a large pot, I used my trusty dutch oven, saute your garlic, jalapeno, and onion in the olive oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes and season with salt and pepper.  The onion doesn't have to be completely soft, because it will continue to cook.

Next add you two chicken breasts, cooking for about 1 minute on each side.  They will not be cooked through yet.  Add in your spices, can of tomatoes, rice, and chicken broth.  Bring it to a boil, and then cover and let it simmer for an hour.

Remove the chicken breast and shred them with 2 forks.  At this point they should be cooked through and fall apart easily.  Add the chicken back to the soup and let it simmer for another 20 minutes, adjusting your seasonings at this point if you want it spicier.  Skim the oil off the top of the soup and discard.  Chop the cilantro and stir it into the soup.

When serving, top with chopped avocado.  It is also delicious with some tortilla chips crumbled up on top and some cheese!

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