How I Wasted $550 and Chicken Tortilla Soup
Fever in the morning, fever all through the night. You give me fever. You being whatever illness has taken my body hostage. I never thought I’d associate that song with actually being sick. I was lucky enough to have written a little something for yesterday’s post. I’m tired of resting and of the apartment being in ruins. My fever is gone as of this morning but I’m still living in a medicated fog.
Fever, chills, body ache on top of abdominal problems and a $550 doctor bill was in store for me this week. You know what I got for $550 worth of care? I was told to take Excedrin and rest, which just happened to be the exact thing I was doing before visiting the oh so wise doc and I’m thinking that bill is what put me into a 100 degree fever. As soon as I stepped in the building and registered, I was billed $168.
I genuinely felt bad when I signed up for the new online chart for patients, took a stroll through billing and found the cost of this 2 hour visit. I walked in (barely) and walked out with the same amount of pain and the same instructions I had given myself. Lucky for us, I didn’t do the ultrasound which the doctor admitted was frivolous later and $700 alone.
Guess what I’m doing today? Resting. I’m tired of it but I know that the likelihood of me feeling better is in the negative range for the future if I don’t. Maybe I should email people, especially the woman that wanted to buy 9 chairs, which I’m selling for my landlord, who never got back to me last week. The sale seemed so hopeful. I even put up with, er, cherished the time with her inquisitive 6 kids- one that told me the entire story of Batman and another about Barbie’s new movie…twice. No offense, Barbie but I’m an adult now and I’ve left you behind. (Behind my shoes in the closet….kidding, that’s creepy.)
Earlier this week I posted roasted garlic guacamole with baked tortilla chips. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. I left out that I also made tortilla strips for today’s soup- chicken tortilla soup. I gathered several recipes that I liked to create my own rendition.
There was just enough heat but the flavor was smooth across my tastebuds, paired with the sweetness of the corn (sigh), amazing. Greg thought it was even better the following day. I am proud of this one; I’d never made tortilla soup until that day but I have tried other recipes so I knew what I was looking for in taste. In my opinion, the chicken absorbing the rub for a few hours (at least) was the difference between the other tortilla soups that don’t require any spice on the meat beforehand. Many of the recipes I came across only required that the chicken be poached in broth and if that’s what you like, go ahead.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
1 tsp fresh oregano
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
1 chipotle in adobo with 1 tbsp of the sauce (canned in specialty aisle)
28 oz. crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted is great), do not drain
1 cup corn (I used frozen corn from a friend’s previous harvest)
tortilla strips (recipe below)-you’ll need flour or corn tortillas
smoked or grated mozzarella or cheese of your choice
Combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin in a large bowl with the pieces of chicken, cover and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. If you can leave it longer, maybe 8 hours, it’s even better.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over low/medium heat. Add the onion and bay leaf, cook until onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the oregano, garlic, salt/pepper, 1 cup of stock and chicken; cook until chicken is cooked through. Add the chipotle in adobo with sauce, tomatoes (with liquid), remaining 1 cup of stock and corn. You might need another cup or so of stock depending on the consistency you desire for the soup. It’s great as a thick stew too. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Tortilla strips: in the meantime, preheat the oven to 325. Cut corn or flour tortillas into strips, brush with oil on each side lightly, add a little salt and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
Serve soup with grated cheese, cilantro and tortilla strips over the top. The traditional way is to place the strips (or chips) and cheese on the bottom of the serving bowl but do what you like.