Merry's Smoky Salsa Verde Chicken Poblano Soup
A hearty and savory blend of chicken, salsa verde, and poblano peppers sure to fill you and warm you up on a chilly day.
For 8 Persons
- 1-2 whole chickens
- 2 tablespoons course kosher salt
- 2 yellow onions
- 1 ear of corn, shucked
- 2 large poblano peppers
- 12 medium to large tomatillos
- 4 scallions
- 2 mild yellow chili peppers
- 1 jalepeño, extra if you like spiciness
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 bunch clinatro
- 2 cups baby yellow potatoes, steamed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Fresh limes
- Remove any giblets from the cavity of the chicken. Place chicken on a large cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Invert chicken and use kitchen shears to cut along one side of the chicken spine then cut the other side of the spine. Cut and remove the v-shaped sternum at the tail end of the breastbone. Reserve to smoke the backbone and any giblets for soup broth. Invert the chicken to breast-side up and press the breast bone to completely flatten.
- Season chicken salt and pepper under the skin then on all sides of outer skin. Leave chicken on the cutting board, cover, and set on the counter until ready to grill.
- Leaving the skins on, cut the yellow onions in halves. Be sure to keep both halves intact with the root end. Rub the corn with cooking oil. Leave all remaining produce whole. Place the baby yellow potatoes in a microwave safe container. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 minutes, or until potatoes are softened.
- Heat the grill to 275°F and stabilize. Add 2 chunks for smoking, hickory or apple are preferred. Add the deflector racks and plates for indirect cooking.
- Place the chicken(s) skin side up on the grill grates, along with the backbone, neck, and onions. Close the dome and smoke for 1 hour.
- After one hour, check on the doneness of onions and remove if soft. Add the produce. The scallions will be charred in about 10 minutes so be sure to check. Remove produce as it browns and softens. Once the charred corn cools, cut the kernels off the cob.
- Remove chicken and charred produce from the grill. Increase the temperature of the grill to 325-350°F. Place chicken skin side down to crisp the skin and elevate the internal temperature of the chicken to 160°F. (The chicken will reach 165°F in the soup broth)
- Scrape the seeds from the inside of the jalapeño, yellow peppers, and poblanos; then discard. Place the jalapeño, yellow peppers, and 1 poblano in a food processor. (Chop and reserve the remaining poblano for the soup broth.)
- Add softened tomatillos, 1 yellow onion, charred scallions, garlic, and 1 cup of cilantro to the peppers in the food processor to make a smoky salsa verde. Process until chunky to smooth like salsa.
- Place onion skins in an 8-cup microwave safe (or saucepan) bowl. Add 6 cups of water, roasted chicken backbones, scrap skin and giblets, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes. Drain broth through a mesh colander into a Dutch Oven. If needed, add boxed chicken broth to extend.
- Shred chicken and add to broth, along with the homemade salsa verde, chopped poblano, 1 chopped smoked onion, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, charred corn kernels, and the steamed potatoes. Add salt and add lime juice to taste. Place back on the grill, close the dome, and continue to smoke for 10-30 minutes or until ready to serve.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and add desired toppings: queso fresco, cilantro, fresh scallions, sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese, or tortilla chips.
Serve with warm bread and butter.