Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Whenever it turns out to be a gloomy day, I get this huge craving for a hot bowl of soup. My Chicken Tortilla Soup with all its wonderful toppings fits the bill perfectly.


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Tuscan Soup (6)



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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Chicken Broth

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Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)


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Prep Time: 40 minutes (this includes the garnish and toppings for the soup)
Cook Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 6-quart Dutch oven with a lid, mesh sieve, 2-cup measuring cup, measuring spoons

Ingredients For Roasted Chicken:
2 bone-in, skin-on, chicken breasts
4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Tortilla Strips:
1 package of corn tortillas
some non- stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt

Ingredients For the Soup:
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 quarts of chicken broth, unsalted
2 cups of water (reserve 1/2 cup for cornmeal)
1 red bell pepper, seeded, large dice
1 green bell pepper, seeded, large dice (substitute green bell pepper)
1 onion, large dice
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno pepper)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of green onions, sliced, (the white and light green parts)
1 (11-ounce) can of Ro*Tel (tomatoes with green chilies)
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, low sodium, drained and rinsed
1 (11-ounce) can of white shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of cornmeal
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

1/2 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup of green onions tops, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded Colby Jack cheese
1/4 cup of red onion, finely diced

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start by spraying both sides of the corn tortillas with non-stick cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on top of each other slicing them into strips. Divide the strips in half giving you two equal portions. Arrange the tortilla strips into a single layer on each baking sheet pan. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the tortilla strips to cool for 15 minutes before placing them into a large resealable bag.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degreed F.
On a rimmed baking sheet pan place two chicken breasts. Rub the top of each breast with olive oil. Sprinkle each one with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool for 30 minutes before removing the skin and chicken from the bone. Use your hand to shred the chicken. Transfer to a large platter. Set aside.

In the meantime, while the chicken is in the oven, prep all the vegetables, open all the cans, drain the corn and black beans for the soup.

In a preheated Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. To the oil, add dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder, and tomato paste, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 1 minute to allow the spices and tomato paste to bloom. Next, add the onions, diced peppers, Fresno chili, garlic, bay leaf, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, stir to combine.

Stirring occasionally, cook for 5 to 7 minutes giving everything a chance to marry and soften. Next, add the fire-roasted tomatoes with juice, Ro*Tel, black beans, and corn, and cooked shredded chicken, stir to combine. Add chicken broth and water, again stir to combine. Bring the soup up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, in a measuring cup, add 3 tablespoons of cornmeal to 1/2 a cup of water, mix well. Pour this mixture into the simmering hot soup, stir to combine.

Turn the heat off, remove the bay leaf.

To serve, ladle the Chicken Tortilla Soup into a porcelain serving bowl. Add all or any combination of the green onions tops, chopped cilantro, finely diced red onion, cheese, and crispy tortilla strips. Serve with a lime wedge.

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Chicken Caprese Pasta With Arugula


This dish so is easy and delicious. I love making different versions of this recipe all the time. In my house, we love pasta, every possible way you can think of, so coming up with new recipes is always fun. I thought about how much we love tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and pasta. It just made sense, to add chicken, for a one-pot meal.

Roasting chicken, bone-in and skin-on, really intensifies the flavor and locks in the juices. This is my Chicken Caprese Pasta With Arugula.

Olive Oil



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grape tomatoes



Shredded Rotisserie Chicken


Chicken Broth


Colander-Style Spoon

Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil


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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 rimmed baking sheet pan, rondeau (large deep-sided frying/braising pan), colander spoon (colander), 6-quart saucepot

Ingredients For Roasted Chicken:
2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups of roasted chicken, bones and skins removed and shredded
1 pound of mini Farfalle (mini bowties)
1/3 cup of good olive oil
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 pints of grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups of fresh arugula leaves
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 (8-ounce package, 2 4-ounce balls) of fresh mozzarella 1 1/2 inch dice

Directions For Roasting Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by placing two chicken breasts on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Using your hands rub olive oil over each chicken breast. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool down enough before removing both the skin and bones. Shred the chicken, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

In a cold rondeau (deep-sided frying/braising pan) add 1/3 cup of olive oil. I know that sounds like a lot, but remember this is the base for our sauce. To the olive oil, add the red pepper flakes and sliced garlic. Turn the heat to low allowing the oil to infuse the flavors from the garlic and chili flakes. Slowly heat the oil, making sure to watch it carefully, so the garlic slices don’t brown or burn about 10 minutes.

Once you start to smell the aroma of the garlic add the halved grape tomatoes. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes just start to break down. This will be the sauce for this dish.

Add the shredded chicken and chicken broth, stirring occasionally, simmer for another 15 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, drop the pasta. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until al dente.

Meanwhile dice up the fresh mozzarella, set aside,

Using a colander spoon (drain pasta into a colander) transfer the pasta to the pan containing the chicken and tomatoes. Add two cups of the starchy pasta cooking liquid, the fresh basil leaves, and arugula. Remove the pan from the heat, stir together allowing the arugula and basil to wilt.

Finally add the diced mozzarella, gently toss to combine.

To serve, I like to take the pan right to the table and serve it family-style. There you have it, Chicken Caprese Pasta With Arugula.

Perfect Roasted Chicken

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Braided Puff Pastry With A Chicken Fajita Filling

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Braided Puff Pastry Filled With A Chicken Fajita Filling is a fun twist on serving fajitas.




Shredded Roasted Chicken



Pizza Filling (2)

Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

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2018-06-20 16.15.59


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Olive Oil


Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes




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Puff Pastry (2)




Puff Pastry

Puff Pastry

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Egg Wash




Pico de Gallo Two Ways (12)

Here I have a variety of finely diced vegetables. I’m going to quickly sauté a few of these colorful peppers to use as a garnish when the pastry finished baking. Finally, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves.

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Prep Time: 0 minutes (all prep can be done while roasting the chicken)
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, 8-inch sauté pan, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 small mixing bowl, rolling pin, pastry brush, large spatula, chef’s knife, paring knife, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper

2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, roasted and deboned (approx. 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken)
2 sheets of Puff Pastry (1 box), thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, julienned
1/4 red onion, finely diced
3/4 red bell pepper, julienned (reserve 1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced)
3/4 yellow bell pepper, julienned ( reserve 1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely diced)
3/4 orange bell pepper, julienned reserve (1/4 orange bell pepper, finely diced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of Fajita seasoning
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups of (Green Giant) shoepeg corn, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, reduced-sodium
1/2 cup of store-bought cantina-style fresh salsa, divided
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided (substitute Monterey Jack)
2 tablespoons of cilantro, roughly chopped (plus cilantro leaves for garnish)
*egg wash
1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes

Ingredients For Fajita Seasoning:
8 teaspoons of chili powder
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
4 teaspoons of Kosher salt
4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
4 teaspoons of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of onion powder
4 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of ground cumin

Note: Recipe yields approx. 2 1/2 cups of Fajita seasoning.
Note: 2 tablespoons of Fajita seasoning per pound of meat.

Directions For Fajita Seasoning:
In a medium-size mixing bowl add all the ingredients from the above list, mix to combine. Tip: Store in an air-tight container, in a cool dry place.

The night before, transfer the box of Puff Pastry to the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Place the chicken onto a rimmed baking sheet pan. Rub olive oil over the top of each one. Sprinkle Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper over each chicken breast. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165-degrees F.

In the meantime, prep the vegetables. Drain and rinse the black beans. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the finely diced red onion. Set aside.

In a preheated small sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the finely diced multi-colored bell peppers, a light sprinkling of Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste, stir to combine. Stirring occasionally, cook the peppers until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Set aside for garnish.

Once the chicken comes out of the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Uncover and allow the chicken to cool down enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bone. Using two forks, shred the chicken, transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

In a large preheated sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil, diced onion, julienned red, orange, yellow bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables get some nice color, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the finely minced Chipotle pepper, Fajita seasoning, and the cooked shredded chicken, stir to combine.

Add the chicken stock and the fire-roasted tomatoes with their juice, stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid reduces and the sauce thickens. Finally, add the shoepeg corn, the black beans, diced red onion mixture, and the 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Keep the Puff Pastry in the refrigerator. You want to make sure the pastry stays nice and cold until your ready to roll out the dough.

In the meantime, dust your board with a good sprinkling of flour. Using your hands, spread the flour around. Roll the dough out forming a rectangle (9 x 13) as seen in the pictures above.

Spoon the chicken fajita mixture in a 4-inch strip lengthwise down the center of the dough leaving a 3-inch border at the top and bottom. Top with 1/4 cup of Pico de gallo and half the shredded cheese. Using a paring knife, make cuts 1-inch apart on the long sides of the dough within 1/2 inch of the filling. Alternately cross strips over the filling; press the edges to seal. Using a large spatula, carefully transfer to a rimmed baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process for the second sheet of Puff pastry.

Brush both Puff pastries with *egg wash and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley.

Transfer both pans to the center rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes. Garnish each one of the braided pastries with the multi-colored finely diced peppers from earlier. Top with a few cilantro leaves. Cut crosswise into slices. Serve with a side of my homemade Pico de Gallo. There you have it, my Braided Puff Pastry With A Chicken Fajita Filling.

*egg wash: A mixture of beaten eggs and water or milk broth over pastry or dough before baking in order to give an attractive color and shine to the surface.

My Tips For The Most Flavorful Chicken

Fajita Frittata Muffins

Pico de Gallo-Two Ways


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