• 2 split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds) or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds), skin removed and well trimmed of excess fat
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 very large white onion (about 1 pound), trimmed of root end, quartered, and peeled
  • 4 medium cloves garlic , peeled
  • 2 sprigs epazote , fresh, or 8 to 10 sprigs fresh cilantro plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
  • 2 medium tomatoes , cored and quartered, or a 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño chile
  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo , plus up to 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil



  • 1 lime , cut into wedges
  • 1 Hass avocado , diced fine
  • 8 ounces cotija cheese , crumbled, or Monterey Jack cheese, diced fine
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • minced jalapeno pepper
  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Tortilla chips or strips


  1. Bring chicken, broth, 2 onion quarters, 2 garlic cloves, epazote, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil over medium-high heat in large saucepan; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  2. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large plate. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer; discard solids in strainer. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces; discard bones.
  3. Puree tomatoes, 2 remaining onion quarters, 2 remaining garlic cloves, jalapeño, chipotle chile, and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce in food processor until smooth. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering; add tomato/onion puree and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened in color, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir strained broth into tomato mixture, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer to blend flavors, about 15 minutes. Taste soup; if desired, add up to 2 teaspoons additional adobo sauce. Add shredded chicken and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.

To serve, place tortilla chips in bottom of individual bowls and ladle soup into bowls; pass garnishes separately.