This recipe was majorly modified from one by retired chef Ernie Bolleter of Santa Fe.
This is an all day process, but there are a couple of places where you can shortcut. You can also do Steps 1 & 2 a day ahead.
STEP 1 - Roast the chicken.
1 whole chicken
I bunch fresh thyme
Remove giblets. Rub the cavity with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in half. Stuff it and the thyme inside the chicken. Sprinkle outside with salt. Roast in a 425F oven for 1.5 hours, or until the juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part of the thigh.
Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle it. Remove the skin and most of the meat from the carcass, leaving a meaty carcass.
Dice the meat and reserve.
NOTE: you can skip step one and cook the chicken during the stock making portion of the recipe, but you will lose the roasted flavor, and you will need to remove the meat after the chicken is cooked, then return the carcass to the stock. Also, you could use a grocery store rotisserie chicken.
STEP 2 - Make the stock.
Set your stockpot on the counter. As you prepare the veggies, toss the ends and stems into the pot.
1 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. peppercorns
4 or 5 stalks celery, diced
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 leek, chopped (you can sub 1 bunch scallions, if needed).
1 medium onion, chopped
3 red bell peppers, chopped
2 or more chopped jalepenos, serranos or habaneros, depending on desired heat.
Reserve all the vegetables.
Toss the chicken carcass in the pot with the stems and ends of the veggies. Add another halved onion if you want. Add bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Cover with water, at least 3 quarts.
Bring to a simmer (do NOT boil). Let simmer on low for at least 3 hours. Strain broth into large container, discarding carcass and veggie ends. Refrigerate until the fat rises to the top and solidifies, then skim fat and discard. Return 2 quarts of the stock to the pot. Save any remaining for another use.
Step 3 -- Final Preparation
1/2 c. Bacon drippings or butter
3/4 c. flour
2 avocados, peeled, quartered and sliced
3 ears corn, preferably fresh but frozen will do
In a large skillet heat the bacon drippings over medium. when hot, whisk in the flour, whisking constantly until light brown. Add the roux to the stock.
Add the veggies from Step 2 to the pot, and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Heat an ungreased heavy skillet or stovetop grill until very hot. Roast the corn until some kernels show light charring. Using a sharp knife, remove the kernels from the cob.
Add the chicken, corn, and avocados to soup. cook for 5 more minutes.
Jalepeno powder was another thread I started. Incidentally, I typed up the recipe this morning so I could refer to it on my iPad while In the kitchen. I modified it slightly in that I used Thomas Keller's roast chicken method. I got it from another CH thread (linked below). It worked really well and I think I'm going to switch to it.
Oh, and the soup was delicious.