Reata Restaurant Executive Chef James Gaines stops by Good Day Dallas

Originally featured on FOX 4 Good Day Dallas on September 23


1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs) 6 chicken wings 6 chicken legs or thighs 6 cloves garlic 4 shallots 1 TBS whole black peppercorns 1 carrot 3-4 quarts water Kosher salt to taste  Freshly ground pepper to taste 2 avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced lengthwise into eighths 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced 1/4 cups oil 6 fresh corn tortillas, cut into thin strips 2 cups (about 8 oz) grated Monterey jack cheese 1 lime, cut into sixths 1/2 bunch cilantro, stemmed for garnish

In a large, heavy, deep pan place the washed chicken and chicken pieces. Add the garlic, shallots, peppercorns, carrot and water.  The water should barely cover the chicken. Adjust the amount of water, if necessary.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. As the water begins to heat, skim any foam that rises to the surface and discard. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to a constant simmer. Continue skimming as necessary.

Place the cover of the pan slightly ajar and continue cooking for 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the heat off and let the chicken sit in the broth for 1/2 hour to cool.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones, discarding the skin and bones. There should be about 3 cups of meat. Set the meat aside in a covered container that can be heated at serving time.

Strain the broth and return it to a clean saucepan. 

Skim off any fat that has accumulated on the surface. There should be about 2 quarts of broth.

Season with salt and pepper.

At serving time, reheat the chicken.

Heat the broth to boiling and keep hot.

In a large skillet, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tortilla strips and saute until crisp, turning them once or twice. Remove the strips and drain them on paper towels. (repeat if necessary)

Have all of the soup ingredients ready to assemble at serving time, as you will “build” each soup bowl individually.

In the bottom of the bowl, place 3/4 cup chicken meat. Arrange avocado slices around the meat. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, diced jalapeno and top with a wedge of lime. Ladle hot broth over all and place a handful of crispy tortilla strips in the center. Top with a garnish of cilantro leaves.

Serve at once.