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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Serves 6
This delicately spiced yet hearty tortilla soup is great for a crowd—put out assorted toppings and let people pile them on any way they like.
    1. 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
    2. 1 yellow onion, halved
    3. 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    4. 2 bay leaves
    5. 8 to 10 cilantro sprigs, plus more to taste
    6. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    7. 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes
    8. 2 peppers from 1 can chipotles in adobo, seeded, plus 1 heaping tablespoon adobo sauce
    9. 1 white onion, minced
    To Serve
    1. 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
    2. ½ cup chopped cilantro
    3. 2 avocados, halved and diced
    4. 2 to 3 radishes, thinly sliced
    5. 4 to 8 lime wedges
    6. 3 to 4 cups tortilla chips
      1. Add first 6 ingredients to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken (about 10 cups) and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer gently until chicken is very tender and starting to fall off the bone, 50 minutes to 1 hour, skimming as needed.
      2. While chicken is simmering, puree canned tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Set aside.
      3. When chicken is done cooking, place a colander into a larger bowl set in the sink. Carefully pour chicken and broth into the colander. Remove colander from the bowl and let chicken cool. Return broth to the pot and keep warm over low heat. When chicken is cool enough to handle, pick meat from the bones, shredding large pieces. Place meat in the pot with broth and discard skin, bones, and other solids. Add tomato mixture and white onion to the broth and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer 15 minutes, lowering heat if necessary.
      To Serve
      1. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with cotija, cilantro, avocado, and radishes and serve with lime wedges and tortilla chips.
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      Molly Shuster

      Molly is a freelance food stylist, writer and recipe developer. She is one of the co-recipe editors of Gather Journal and has had her work published in various publications including Boston Magazine, Yankee Magazine, The New York Times, Food and Wine, Family Fun, The Boston Globe and Edible Vineyard, among others. Molly currently divides her time between New York and Boston.

      Photographer Lauren Volo

      New York City-based photographer Lauren Volo has been shooting our "One Cheese, Five Ways" feature for over a year—hard job, huh?

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