2 whole chicken breasts, boneless and skinless*
1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered**
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 Russet potato, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 to 2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers (stems and seeds removed) or according to your taste
4 cups chicken broth or stock**
3 cups water
Coarse salt and coarsely-ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* The U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as food agencies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, advises against washing poultry. Rinsing chicken will not remove or kill much bacteria, and the splashing of water around the sink can spread the bacteria found in raw chicken. Cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit effectively destroys the most common culprits behind food-borne illness.
** Remove dry paper-like skins from tomatillos.
** Check out Chicken Stock - Basic Chicken Stock to learn how easy it is to make your own homemade chicken stock.
Prepare Tomatillos: Remove the husks before using, the husks are inedible. Tomatillos are very easy to cook with because they do not need to be peeled or seeded. Their texture is firm when raw, but soften when cooked. Rinse before using as the tomatillo is covered by a sticky substance. Do not peel the green skin.
In a large soup pot (or cast-iron Dutch oven) over medium heat, add chicken, onion, garlic, tomatillos, potato, oregano, chile pepper, chicken stock, and water; cover and bring just to a boil. Reduce head to low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender and the meat falls from the bone. Remove chicken from the pot to a bowl or plate and set aside to cool (when cool, take meat from the bones and shred into pieces). Refrigerate cooked chicken until ready to use.
Remove the soup pot from the heat and let the vegetables and broth cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the vegetable and broth in a blender or food processor.
When ready to serve, reheat the vegetable soup puree over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
To serve, place a small pile of the shredded chicken into each soup bowl. Ladle the pureed soup around the pile of chicken in each bowl. Top each bowl of soup with sour cream and cilantro. Enjoy!