Friday, November 15, 2013

Chicken Jalapeno Soup with Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits

This is a recipe I made a few years ago and I think it's about time I make it again soon! It's warm and comforting, and paired with the cheddar garlic biscuits, it's a perfect winter lunch or dinner. If you like your food on the spicy side, I'd suggest adding some extra jalapenos, whether fresh or pickled. I think I would have liked a little more of a kick, so I'd spice it up myself next time, or at least add in the fresh jalapeno seeds as the original recipe I worked from suggests. I didn't want it to be too spicy, so I left them out, but I think it would have been just fine. Regardless of the spice factor though, this is a great spin on a classic favorite.

I found the original recipe for this soup on We Are Not Martha. I made a few small adaptations to it based on personal preference and what I had on hand. Here's what I changed up:
  • The original recipe called for 1 lb. of dried beans. I never have my act together enough in advance to soak dried beans, so canned it is. 3 cans seemed like a good amount to use.
  • While I love a nice thick soup, I do like to have a bit more broth than this seemed to have, especially when I'm going to freeze some of it. I didn't want to open a whole second container of chicken stock, but didn't want to add flavorless water, so a Corona seemed like a nice complement to the flavors of the soup. 
  • The original recipe said to garnish with parsley, but I had scallions and cilantro on hand and thought those flavors went really well with the jalapeno and cumin. I was right. :-) 
  • We Are Not Martha called for garlic croutons with the soup, but because I cook only for myself and stretch recipes across a number of meals, croutons aren't all that conducive to reheating/staying fresh. So I skipped those, but if I ever make this soup for a crowd of people, I'd definitely give the croutons a try. However, soup just isn't a complete meal to me without bread, so in lieu of the croutons, I ate it with some biscuits that are a copycat of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits. They're easily frozen and reheated as needed. 
Chicken Jalapeno Soup
Adapted from We Are Not Martha 

3 large chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced 

1/3 c. pickled jalapenos, diced (plus some juice)
2 tsp dried cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 (15 oz.) cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
32 oz. low-sodium chicken stock 
12 oz. bottle of Corona
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Scallions, chopped (for garnish)
Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large pot and cook onion, carrots, and celery until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and jalapenos (both kinds), along with the cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add beans, chicken stock, Corona, jalapeno juice (I used a few spoonfuls) and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for about a hour, until vegetables are completely cooked.

While the soup is simmering, poach the chicken breasts. Put the chicken in a medium saucepan with some salt and cover with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for about 2 - 3 minutes. Cover and turn off heat, allowing chicken to cook for about 20 minutes more. When the chicken is done, remove from the water and shred with a fork. Add to the soup for the last 10 minutes of simmering, along with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with scallions and cilantro.

Copycat Recipe of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits
from chef Todd Wilbur

2.5 c. Bisquick baking mix
3/4 c. cold milk
6 Tbsp cold butter, divided
3/4 tsp garlic powder, divided
1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine Bisquick with 4 Tbsp butter, leaving pea-sized chunks of butter in the mix. Add cheddar, milk, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Drop 1/4 c. portions onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 14 - 17 min.

Melt 2 Tbsp butter, stir in 1/2 tsp garlic powder, parsley flakes, and salt. Brush on top of the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven, using up all the butter sauce.

Makes about 10 biscuits.

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