Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My version of Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Stew)

Several years ago, when we were out in Southern California visiting family & friends,
my cousins took us to this fabulous Mexican restaurant called
in Laguna Hills.

All of my cousins got the soup.

It was like this:
"Are you getting the soup?"
"Of course I am getting the soup! Are you?"
"Of course!"
"I am getting the soup!"

When in Rome...

Is it possible for soup to change your life?

If so, this one changed mine.
(sorry, Grandma!)

Now it is the only way I make chicken soup.
Of course, I don't have their recipe,
I have created my own ;-)

I start the day before I want to serve it.

Start with a whole chicken, I am always watching fat content, so I "strip" the chicken of all of its skin. 
Naked chicken.
I clean it out really good, I am a stickler about such things.
It's a good thing that I start the day before, because, well...yeah, if you have cleaned a chicken...you know what I am talking about...

I throw the naked bird in a pot with 6 cut up carrots and 6 cut up potatoes and some stalks of celery,
sometimes I throw in garlic cloves, too.
I cover the whole thing with water and throw in a few boullion cubes for good measure.
I sprinkle the whole thing with salt, pepper and garlic powder 
and I let it simmer for an hour or more.
When I try to lift a leg with my tongs and it pulls off, I know it is done.

I remove the chicken and put it on a plate, cover it good with plastic wrap.
I clean out my fridge and find room not only for that, but for the 

I put the pot in the fridge until the next afternoon.
The next day, I take the pot out and remove the congealed fat from the top of the broth.

I put the pot BACK in the fridge and let it settle for another couple of hours.
Then I take it out and strain more fat off the top.
{I am a stickler about low-fat}.

Then I squeeze a lime into the broth.

I start some water for rice.

I put the broth on to simmer, while I pull the meat off the chicken and add it to the pot.

While the rice cooks and the soup heats, I prep my garni.

A little chopped cilantro (I throw some in the pot with the soup toward the end).

Some diced tomato

Some diced avocado.

Some chopped serano pepper.

Some corn cut from the cob, if you have any.

Some more lime for each of us to add if we want.

And then we enjoy!