Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepperto taste
3skinless boneless chicken breastsabout 1½ pounds
Canola or vegetable oilfor panfrying
6corn tortillashalved and cut crosswise into thin strips
Juice of 1 lime
To Serve (Optional, Pick and Choose)
1or 2 avocadospeeled and diced
1cupshredded Monterey Jack cheese
½cupcoarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salsa or Pico de Gallo
1limecut into wedges
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until tender and golden, 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, coriander, and chile powder and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add the chicken breasts and lower the heat to medium-low . Simmer uncovered (don’t let the soup come to a boil), stirring occasionally, until the chicken is just barely cooked through, about 12 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Keep the soup gently simmering over medium-low heat.
Meanwhile, pour the oil to a depth of 1 inch into a medium-size skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Line a plate with a couple of paper towels. When the oil is hot, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry, stirring often, until they are crisp and lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the plate and sprinkle lightly with salt while they are still hot.
Shred the slightly cooled chicken, and stir it and the lime juice into the soup.
Ladle the soup into soup bowls and top with the fried tortilla strips, along with your choice of diced avocado, cheese, cilantro, salsa, and lime wedges.