Similar to tortilla soup, this version is sour from lots of whole limes in the broth and garnish; roasted habanero chiles add a smoky heat. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue with Patricia Quintana's article The Soups of Mexico.
- 2 cups canola oil, for frying
- 12 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4" thick strips
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 plum tomatoes, cored
- 2 habanero chiles
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 4 limes (2 peeled of pith and roughly chopped, 2 halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise)
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add tortilla strips, and fry, tossing, until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; set aside.
Arrange an oven rack 4" from broiler and heat broiler to high. Place tomatoes, garlic, and chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 15 minutes for tomatoes, 10 minutes for garlic, and 6 minutes for chiles. Remove stems and seeds from chiles, and thinly slice; set aside. Transfer tomatoes and garlic to a food processor along with 2 cups stock and 2 peeled limes; puree until smooth, at least 2 minutes.
Pour through a fine strainer into a 6-qt. saucepan and stir in remaining stock. Add thyme, oregano, and chicken, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to a bowl to cool; remove and discard bones, and finely shred chicken. Set chicken aside, and season soup with salt and pepper.
To serve, divide shredded chicken, fried tortillas, onion, sliced chiles, and sliced limes among serving bowls, and then ladle soup into bowls, and serve immediately.