Talk about keeping us waiting until the last minute: Even when the 2-minute warning sounded in Sunday’s Panthers playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, we weren’t sure if anyone in Charlotte would need to throw a party for next Sunday’s playoff.
Time ran out with the Panthers still on top, though, and now we have another chance to up our football-food game.
This time, with the playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals kicking off at 6:40 p.m. Sunday, we thought you might like something that can be dinner for a crowd at home, or easy enough to take and heat up at a tailgate. Since our opponents will come from the Southwest, that makes it easy: A slow cooker version of Chicken Tortilla Soup.
(We could suggest calling this Cardinal Tortilla Soup, but cardinals are our state bird here in North Carolina. So we’ll be more respectful than that.)
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 whole cooked chicken (rotisserie works great)
1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles, such as Ro-Tel
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth (or 4 cups chicken stock)
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
6 to 8 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Garnishes: Chopped cilantro, grated Mexican-style cheese, diced avocado, limes, sour cream
Pull the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Shred or coarsely chop the meat and place in a slow cooker with the canned tomatoes, enchilada sauce, green chiles, chicken broth, corn and black beans. Add a cup or 2 of water if needed to cover everything.
Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours, or on high setting for 3 to 4 hours.
Brush tortillas with oil and cut into strips. Spread on a baking sheet and place in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly brown and crisp. Serve soup topped with tortilla strips and garnishes.
Yield: About 8 servings.