Can be made with chicken breasts instead of thighs, but cook on the stove, not the crockpot.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
- 15-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 fresh hot green chile pepper (such as jalapeno), seeded and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 10-ounce package frozen corn, defrosted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- tortilla chips
- Chopped avocado, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Freshly grated Montery Jack cheese, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat, cook the chicken thighs, skin side down, until the skin is golden brown, about 3 minutes. (Do not turn the chicken.) Transfer the chicken to a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Discard all of the fat in the skillet.
Mash the tomatoes with their juice. Add to the skillet with the onion, chile pepper and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato mixture, chicken broth, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to the slow cooker and stir well.
Cover and slow-cook until the chicken thighs are tender, 5 to 6 hours on low.
Remove the chicken thighs and cool slightly. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and remove the meat from the bones. Coarsely chop the chicken meat and return to the slow cooker. Stir in the corn and chopped cilantro.
Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Serve the soup in individual bowls, topping each serving with tortilla chips and a sprinkling of avocado, if desired. Let each guest squeeze on lime juice to taste, and pass a bowl of grated cheese for sprinkling.