The Fort Cookbook

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Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson

from The Fort Cookbook: New Foods of the Old West from the Famous Denver Restaurant by Samuel P. Arnold

Published by HarperCollins


2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 2 pounds)
1 quart chicken broth (canned is fine)
Pinch of dried Mexican leaf oregano
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, preferably from dried (if using canned, be sure to drain well)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 chipotle chile, packed in adobo, minced
4 to 6 ounces Monterey Jack or Havarti cheese, cubed (1 cup)
4 sprigs cilantro (optional)

Place the chicken breasts in a pot with the broth. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover and poach for 12 minutes gently. Remove from the pot and cut into strips 1 1/2 inches long. Return the chicken strips to the broth and add the oregano, rice, garbanzo beans, avocado, and chipotle.

Divide the cheese among 4 deep soup bowls.

Quickly heat the soup again to a quick boil, then ladle it into the bowls. Garnish with a cilantro sprig.

This dish may be made a day ahead, but don't add the avocado until reheating the soup for serving. The chipotle flavor will intensify overnight and the dish may seem hotter. For a more intense flavor, add some of the adobo from the peppers.

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