SHARE

Using a whole chicken contributes to the intensity of this soup from the indigenous Tsotsil Maya of Puebla’s Yo’on Ixim, so if sold with the bird, definitely add the backbone, organ meats, and feet to the pot. The mainstay vegetables for this southern Chiapas caldo de pollo is chayote, an edible gourd, as well as tomatoes and onions.

Featured in: “The ‘Women of the Corn’ Share More than Maize at Yo’on Ixim.”

What You Will Need

Mexican Chicken and Vegetable Soup (Caldo de Pollo) Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken and Vegetable Soup)
Multiplied to use 4 or 5 chickens, this simple soup can feed the whole village family at Yo’on Ixim. Using all parts of a large pollo ranchero contributes to the flavor of this soup, so don’t be afraid to cut up and add the chicken’s backbone, organ meats, and feet. Each season offers different vegetables, but the mainstay for this southern Chiapas soup is chayote, an edible gourd, as well as tomatoes and onions.
Yield: serves 8-10
Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken (5 lb.), cut into 10 pieces
  • 8 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-in. chunks
  • 4 chayotes, cut into 1½-in. wedges
  • 8 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 14 cup kosher salt
  • 4 oz. medium ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups cups trimmed green beans
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-in. strips
  • Fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving

Instructions

  1. To a large Dutch oven, add the chicken pieces and cover with 6 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, chayote, potatoes, and onions. When the liquid begins to boil, add the salt, tomatoes, green beans, and poblano. When the liquid returns to a boil, turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is easily pulled from the bone with a fork, 60–70 minutes.
  3. To serve, use a slotted spoon to divide the chicken pieces among 8–10 bowls, then ladle over the broth and garnish with the cilantro. Accompany with lime wedges and tortillas.

MORE TO READ