I’ve had this chicken soup down in rustic markets in Baja California, Mexico while bike touring with Peter. You can find it at any truck stop in Mexico according to Peter. It’s a simple chicken soup best made with homemade broth (caldo is broth in Spanish). In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever tried it without broth made from a real chicken carcass (sounds gross, eh?).
It’s worth the small time it takes to make this delicate and most economical soup. What you are left with is a delicious meal and 4 cuts of chicken ready to bake, BBQ or broil.
I buy a whole organic chicken from WholeFoods. Bought a big one today and it was $13.00. Sounds like a lot but when you consider the meal(s) you get out of this chicken, you will wonder why you ever bought the breasts, thighs or legs separate.
Organic chicken tastes better. It has more flavor in the meat and in the broth. It’s worth it.
Here is my version of ‘Caldo de Pollo’ or ‘Broth of Chicken’. I made this for my friend Shannon last weekend when she came to visit our mountain home.
CALDO DE POLLO
-Cut off the breasts and legs from the whole chicken. Remove the neck and whatever else is stuffed inside the bird. I never know what to do with these things and they look kind of nasty, so I just throw them away.
-Take the remaining carcass of the chicken (it’s good if there are chunks of meat on it, this will be the meat for your soup!) and put in a large cooking pot.
-Fill with water just until the bird is covered. Too much water gives a watered down broth.
-Add a few carrots, celery stalks, a bay leaf and an onion, peeled and quatered to the chicken and water.
-Bring to a boil.
-Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes.
-Take out carcass and pick off the chicken that is now cooked on the bones. Discard any chicken skin. You should have a small plate of pieces of chicken. This will soon go in your soup.
-Remove carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf. Strain the broth through a strainer so that it is nice and clear.
-Clean your big pot and then add clear broth. Add chicken you harvested from the carcass. Peel a few carrots, celery stalks, wash a leek (use only white and light green part of leek), wash a zucchini and get your mandolin slicer ready to go.
-Slice the leek, carrots, celery, zucchini and add to soup. Bring all to a boil and add another bay leaf. Add some sea salt.
The mandolin slicer
-Reduce, simmer for about 5 minutes, and your soup is good to go! Taste and add more salt as you like. Make sure you start small with the salt you can add but you cannot remove.