They say that necessity is the mother of invention. That is also the case when it is cold outside and you do not want to make that run to the store for ingredients.
That's what happened to me last weekend. I wanted soup. Real homemade soup. But I did not want to go anywhere. So, I opened the pantry and freezer to see what I had on hand.
Well, at least I have my base. And if I'm going to add Ro-tel, aka diced tomatoes and green chilies (yes, you can get a mild variety), I may as well make it something southwest.
Next, I found a package of 4 bone-in chicken breasts. I put those in the microwave and preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Any excuse to turn the oven on on a cold day, right?
Once the chicken was thawed--well, mostly anyway--I brushed them with butter before seasoning them with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder, them put them in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes. If your chicken in thawed, knock that time back to 35-40 minutes.
While the chicken was cooking, I continued to forage.
Two carrots and some celery. Onion and garlic.
Once the chicken was cooled, I cut it up.
Okay, this is starting to come together.
Saute the veggies in a large Dutch oven. I was going to saute them in olive oil, but I was out, so what better excuse to butter.
In a perfect world, I might have added some bell pepper, too, but I didn't have any. Still smells yummy, though.
Time for the broth, Ro-tel and chicken.
Hmph. This just might work. But it needs some seasoning.
We'll start with a little bit of cumin, about a teaspoon.
Oh, and chili powder is a must if it's going to be southwestern, so a teaspoon of that.
Oh, and why not a pinch of Mexican oregano, just because I happen to have some.
Stir that all in and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes before sampling the broth.
Yep, needs a little salt and pepper.
Mmm... Tasty. But it's still missing something.
I run to the pantry.
YES! Green chilies. Just what the doctor ordered.
Since it was the larger can, I thought I'd only add half, but it didn't seem right until I added the entire can.
But it needed just one more thing.
I didn't want the sweetness of the corn to overpower the other flavors, so I added about a cup of frozen niblets.
One more tiny thing...
Just a teaspoon or so of tang to marry the sweetness of the corn and the spice.
Oh, and I even had an avocado that was about to go bad.
This was so good. And don't just take my word for it, my daughter and her husband polished it off the next day with two hearty thumbs-up. So guess what I'll be making after Thanksgiving?
Things I might change next time? I might add two cans of Ro-tel and forget the extra chilies. But other than that...
So yes, Thanksgiving is upon us in only two days. I can hardly wait. I love breaking out those recipes that typically only get made one day a year. Oh, and I have yet to taste my first bite of pumpkin pie this season. Perhaps I should make two. One for me and one for everyone else.
The everyone else is pared down a bit this year. Three out of five kids and one spouse. But hey, any occasion to come together as family is a great one any day of the year.
Will you be cooking or going somewhere?
Whatever the case, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!