Monday, August 8, 2016

Caldo de Pollo...Mexican Chicken Soup

The loves of my life. 

This soup is my comfort food.  My Mom made this at least twice a month with a side of the spiciest 'chile macho'...which is: roasted peppers (green chile, jalapeños or serranos), peeled and chopped with fresh chopped onion & fresh diced tomato.  Similar to a pico de gallo except the peppers were roasted vs fresh.  The stuff Mexican foodie dreams are made of. 
Once my Mom no longer cooked due to Alzheimers my Dad started cooking.  Growing up he cooked outdoors in a wood burning stove. Big meats were his speciality (whole lamb, freshly butchered pig, fresh chicken etc...)and relied on my Mom to season the dishes.  When she no longer could he did a great job of it.  I miss them both dearly.   Carmella's first taste of food/broth at 5 1/2 months was Goat Soup that my Dad made.  He spoon feed her the broth...she loved it.  Big love. 

With love here is my Mom's beautiful caldo de pollo recipe.  

Caldo de Pollo

1 whole chicken
1/2 onion (no need to chop)
1 celery stick cut in 1/3's
2 whole carrots
3 cloves of garlic, whole
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1tsp whole coriander seeds
sprinkle of turmeric
add enough water to cover the chicken

Cook all the above ingredients in a dutch oven 1 1/2 hours/slow cooker 4 hours on high/pressure cooker 30 minutes plus allow pressure to release naturally.  Whatever you feel comfortable cooking soup in. 

Once fully cooked and chicken is pulling from the bone remove the chicken, onion & carrots with a slotted spoon.  DO NOT discard liquid/broth.  This is liquid gold.  Once chicken is cool, fully debone it.  Taste your broth at this point, season to taste with salt & pepper.  
Side note:  I like to keep the cooked skin and broil it till crispy, about 5 minutes under the broiler.  Everyone's fav, it'll be yours too. Promise. 

At this point the only ingredient in your broth should only be broth with or without the whole garlic.  Add all your vegetables to the broth:

3-4 corn on a cob, cut in 1/3's
2 squash cut in 2 inch pieces
2 zucchini cut in 2 inch pieces
1/2 medium cabbage
3 carrots cut in 1/4's 
2 small potatoes each cut in 4 wedges
1 chipotle pepper (dried or canned)

Last final STEP:
1 cup of chopped cilantro (add at the finale)

Cook vegetables till done.  Dutch oven 30 minutes/slow cooker 1 1/2 hours high/pressure cooker 10 minutes.  Once veggies are soft to your liking add the deboned chicken to the veggie soup and sprinkle with cilantro.  Serve.   8-9 servings.  This soup freezes beautifully and a lovely gift for friends & neighbors. 

Serve it like my Mom did and how I now serve it to my family.
Side of warm corn tortillas, lime wedges, your favorite salsa and avocado. 
I like to tear apart a corn tortilla into tiny pieces and sprinkle it in my soup.  My Mom served it this way to us.    
Vegetables in broth before I pressure cooked them.

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