Ajiaco Bogotano, Colombian Chicken and Potato Soup
When I traveled to Colombia a few years ago, I learned that it was soup country. Everywhere we ate, there was always ajiaco or sancocho on the menu, the two soups that easily became my favorites. When I first made my own version of ajiaco, I mistakenly added plantains because I remembered liking them from the sancocho. My version was so comforting then that I used some again when I made it this weekend post-Hurricane Sandy.
I added arborio rice here as well because I wanted an everything-in-it kind of soup. Feel free to skip it if you don’t want your soup too thick. When I heated up leftovers, I simply scooped a glob of it in a bowl, poured some packaged chicken broth with it and nuked it for about 3 minutes. They key is the capers–they make your second, or third, batch fresh.
chicken carcass to make chicken broth
1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch cilantro, tied in kitchen twine
3 potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 large plantain, peeled, chopped
2 pieces boneless chicken breasts, chopped
1/2 cup of arborio rice
1. In a large pot, place the chicken carcass with about 12 cups of salted water to make broth. Let boil until the impurities float to the top. Skim them off and let the broth simmer for up to an hour to reduce. Strain the broth to another large container to separate and remove the disintegrated chicken carcass.
2. Return the filtered broth to the pot. Add scallions, garlic, twined cilantro, and potatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Discard the cilantro. Add the plantains, chicken, and rice until cooked through.
3. Ladle soup and distribute the meaty stuff in bowls to serve. Top with a teaspoon of capers.
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