Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

There’s a nice little restaurant just around the corner from me that makes a great Tom Ka Gai,  aka Coconut Soup.  I eat there at least once a week and I’ve said for a while I was going to try making this myself.  I live in Metro Atlanta and I could get the authentic ingredients, but being in the suburbs it would require a bit of a trip to gather them.  Luckily, I was flipping through some old cookbooks the other day and stumbled across this recipe (found in Light Slow Cooker recipes from Better Homes & Gardens), using all ingredients that I can get at my grocery store.  Since it was missing some of the authentic ingredients like kefir lime leaves, galangal and fish sauce I wasn’t sure what to expect from it.  I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised.  If you can readily get the more authentic ingredients it might be even better.

Sorry I don’t have any prep pics here, I wasn’t planning on posting it but it came out so good I wanted to share.  This recipe is slightly tweaked from the original, and I also needed to add a bit more salt for my taste.  The original recipe also suggested adding crushed peanuts when serving.

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

THAI CHICKEN COCONUT SOUP
Makes 6 servings
Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients

1 Lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 medium carrots, biased cut into ¾ inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 15 oz. can straw mushrooms, drained
1 15 oz. can unsweetened light coconut milk
2 medium red, yellow and/or green sweet peppers, cut into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro

My tweaks… I needed to add some salt to mine.  I also sliced a jalapeño and tossed it in the last 5 minutes for a little extra heat.

Directions

  • In 3 ½ – 4 ½ quart slow cooker, combine chicken, broth, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, lemon peel and crushed red pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 2 ½ – 3 hours, skim off fat.
  • Stir in mushrooms, coconut milk, sweet peppers and cilantro.  Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes.  Serve and enjoy.

 BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per serving)

  • Calories: 186
  • Carbohydrates: 13 grams
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Protein: 21 grams

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Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde

A buddy from Texas introduced me to these this weekend and I was immediately hooked.  I had to see what I could come up with as a fairly healthy recipe for them so I did what I usually do and scoured recipes on the internet and then built my own version with suggestions or ideas from all the others I found.   Pronounce chil-a-KEE-less and Spanish for “friggin’ delicious” there are a lot of variations to be found – con pollo, con carne, verde, rojo, etc.  Since the ones I tried were chicken with green salsa that’s what I tried to recreate.

I don’t claim my recipe is anywhere near authentic, but it is good.  If you’re watching your sodium you might want to tweak this one some, there’s a lot of salt in the taco seasoning.  This is awesome for breakfast or brunch, serve them with a sides of beans and you’re set.  You can add a salad and you’ve got a great, healthy dinner.

If you try this recipe please let me know what you think, if you have any suggestions for tweaks or variations please feel free to share those as well.

Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde 

Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde

SERVES 4

Ingredients

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix
1 cup chicken stock
6-8 small, yellow corn tortillas
½ small sweet onion, chopped fine
4 oz queso fresco (Mexican crumbling cheese)
4 Tbsp Mexican crema (substitute sour cream thinned slightly with milk if you can’t get crema)
4 Tbsp salsa verde (Herdez brand is good)
3 large whole eggs
Liquid egg whites equivalent to 3 whole eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Water

Preparation

Coat chicken breast on both sides with ½ of taco seasoning mix.  Heat a large pan on medium high and spray with non-stick spray.  Add chicken breasts and brown on each side.  Add chicken stock to pan and remainder of taco seasoning and the diced onion.  Turn heat to low and cover pan.  Chicken will need to cook slowly for 2-3 hours, check it frequently and break into pieces as it cooks, when done chicken should shred easily, add more liquid (water will suffice) as needed to keep chicken moist.

When chicken is almost done cut the corn tortillas into 1” wide strips.  Pan fry or bake the strips to crisp them, use a little oil if necessary.  Once tortillas are done add them to the shredded chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes until tortillas become soft but not mushy.  Before adding the tortillas their should be a small amount of liquid to be absorbed, once cooked with the tortillas the mixture should be moist with no visible liquid.

Mix eggs and egg whites in a bowl with about 2 Tbsp of water, salt and pepper.  The combination of eggs and whites gives you the flavor of whole eggs but cuts down on calories and cholesterol, of course you can use all whites if you like.  If possible get fresh eggs from a local farmers’ market as they have a more rich egg flavor.  Thanks to my buddy Stan for this tip.  Scramble eggs in a pan taking care not to overcook them.

Plate ¼ of the chicken mixture and top with ¼ of the scrambled eggs.  Pour 1 Tbsp crema over eggs and crumble 1 oz of the queso fresco over that, top that with 1-2 Tbsp of salsa verde.

Chilaquiles are excellent served with black beans or refried beans.  Great for any meal, especially Sunday brunch.  Add a small side salad for a delicious and healthy dinner.

Tips, tricks and shortcuts

  • You can use tortilla chips in this recipe and save the steps of cutting and cooking the tortillas.  Mission sells tortilla strips that would be perfect for this.
  • Buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and shred it then add the taco seasoning and stock and cook down.  Get plain rotisserie flavor or mojo if available.
  • As mentioned above you can use sour cream thinned with milk to a heavy but pourable consistency if you can’t find Mexican crema or simply choose not to use it.

BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per serving)

Calories:  404
Carbohydrates:  23 grams
Fat:  11 grams
Protein:  37 grams
Fiber:  3 grams