As you may know, I have quite a penchant for making fun of Sandra Lee and her whole box-things-turned-into-gross-new-things shtick.
And then a few years ago I realized that Big A and I semi-homemade something that immediately became a staple in this house and now it’s time to share it with the world. Or the eight of you that read this.
V-8 made this pretty decent boxed corn chowder stuff and we turned it into a better take on chicken tortilla soup.
AND THEN V-8 DISCONTINUED THE SOUP AND I WAS ANGRY. ANGRRYYYYYY.
Trader Joe’s saved the day when I discovered a suitable substitution, though. So if you have a TJ’s…you can have this chowder. If not, well, then you’re shit out of luck and I got nothing for ya.
We always have the ingredients for this in the house, so it really isn’t “fresh”, but damn we like it. Frozen chicken breasts, jarred jalapenos, seasoning packets, WHAT UP. I have zero qualms about my sodium use. Clearly you can use whatever fajita seasoning blend (you fancy people and your Penzey’s and your whatnot) you like and adjust to taste. I never used to add corn, but the Campbells/V8 soup had a little more texture than the Trader Joe stuff so I add some now if I have it.
Chicken Fajita Chowder
2 chicken breasts
1 box TJ’s Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper Soup
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp finely chopped jalapenos (optional)
1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)
Place the chicken breasts in a crock pot and cover halfway with water. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of fajita seasoning over the top and cook on low for about five hours, less if using thawed breasts.
Remove chicken; shred or chop it. Empty water from the crock pot and clean out on residual chicken gunk that may be left behind.
Put soup, chicken, black beans, jalapenos and corn back into the crock pot. Add about two tablespoons of the fajita seasoning, or to taste. Heat through on high – about 45 minutes. You could also do this on the stove – this would take about 15 minutes, but why dirty another pot.
Serve, topped with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Sour cream it up if you’ve got it.
Variation: SAVE FIVE HOURS. Use chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken, start at step three, dump everything into a pot and heat on the stove for 20 minutes. I’ve never done it that way, but I fail to see how it wouldn’t work.
I like to make things more complicated.
And there you have to. FIVE HOUR or TWENTY MINUTE CHICKEN FAJITA CHOWDER.