Servings: 10 to 12 servings
2 1/2 pounds split chicken breasts
3 quarts water
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1/4 cup butter
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (28-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
Sour cream, cilantro (optional)
In a large Dutch oven, combine chicken breast, water, celery, and yellow onion. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from broth; reserve broth. Let chicken cool slightly; skin and bone chicken. Shred chicken, and set aside. Strain broth, discarding vegetables, set aside.
In Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat; add sweet onion, bell pepper, jalapeños, and garlic. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, or until tender. Stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, 10 cups reserved chicken broth, shredded chicken, cilantro, cumin, salt, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in lime juice.
In a small skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Fry tortilla strips, in batches, until crispy; drain on paper towels.
Ladle soup into bowls, top with crispy tortilla strips. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro, if desired.
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