This recipe for Mexican Chicken Chili is a knockoff copycat recipe of Al Yeganeh’s Soup Kitchen International in New York City. Copycat Soups is this month’s theme for Soup Saturday Swappers.
Heather over at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen is this month’s host for Soup Saturday Swappers. Her theme: Copycat Soups.
This theme presented a bit of a challenge for me. I can taste a dish and do a very good job of replicating it. Mr. Saucy and I don’t eat out much, though. Not only do we live quite a distance from most chain restaurants, we really prefer to eat at home. I can control the quality of the foods we eat; it’s better tasting and far less expensive than eating out.
So, I decided to dig back into what is probably the most famous (or infamous) soups to copycat. Ali (Al) Yeganeh was portrayed on the television show Seinfeld as “The Soup Nazi” for the arrogant, high-handed manner in which he treated his customers, and his oft-repeated phrase, “No soup for you!”.
He is a real restaurateur, though. Not only did he own Soup Kitchen International in New York City, but he started the franchise, The Original Soupman. So you can eat his soups to this day at The Original Soupman locations.
I found a recipe online by Todd Wilbur for this soup, which I modified when I made it, but just slightly. I couldn’t bring myself to add a potato to chili, so I left that out. I also added a bit of coriander because it’s such a bright flavor and it works really well with cumin.
I was so proud of myself for being way ahead of schedule for this post (I chose this soup in February), then all hell broke loose in the country and here I was with a “Soup Nazi” soup knockoff. But I have faith in my readers to know me, to know my heart, and more importantly, to know it’s a reference to a farcical character. So, I decided to post it anyway.
The chili is fantastic. Really. While it may not exactly be soup weather, it’s coming soon and I hope you’ll try this one!
- 1½ pound chicken breast tenders
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 quarts chicken stock (1 cup reserved)
- 1 - 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
- 1 - 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 - 15 ounce can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cups frozen kernel corn
- ⅓ cup sliced carrot
- ⅓ cup diced celery
- 1 fresh jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch dry basil
- Pinch dry oregano
- In a large skillet, heated to medium-high, add the olive oil.
- Add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and place on a cutting board, allow to cool before cutting into small pieces.
- Take the reserved cup of chicken stock and add to the still hot skillet to deglaze the pan, scraping up any chicken and browned bits.
- Pour this into a large stockpot along with the chicken pieces and all of the other ingredients.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 hours. The chili will reduce and thicken in this time.