I was beginning to feel the onset of a sickness yesterday and to ward it off I decided to make Caldo de Pollo soup. I was first introduced to this soup when I was managing the Lents International Farmers Market in Portland, OR. Through out the year at the market we would have members of our community who had immigrated to Portland, come and share recipes from where they grew up. The day our 'chef in the market' made caldo de pollo it was especially rainy and cold and I was delighted when I tried this delicious soup. I was given a copy of the recipe, which I immediately lost, so here is what I came up with from memory. I was not disappointed.
1 (3-4 lb) whole chicken, washed and dried, cut into pieces
2 carrots, cut into thirds
1/2 yellow onion (with paper still on), halved.
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sticks celery
2 bay leaves
1 dried chili
1 tablespoon cumin
1 cup cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup rice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Cooked chicken (from recipe)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut breasts off chicken and set aside
3. Place remaining chicken in a dutch oven and roast in oven until golden brown
4. While the chicken is roasting, prep your vegetables. The cabbage and cilantro will be added at the end, so be sure to keep separate. The onions, garlic, celery and bay will be removed and discarded- so don't worry about appearances.
5. Once chicken is golden, remove from oven and over with water. Add onion, garlic, chili and celery, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, partially remove cover and simmer.
6. Once you have this going, get the rice cooking in a separate small sauce pan by combining the rice, tomato paste and seasoning with two cups water. Whisk the tomato paste to break it up. Cover, bring water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed (30-40 minutes).
7. When chicken is cooked (20-30 minutes), remove soup from the stove and strain. Put clear broth back on the stove, add carrots.
8. While carrots are cooking shred chicken and set aside.
9. When carrots are just cooked (I like a little bit of bite), remove and cut into half moons.
10. Turn off heat, add cabbage, cilantro and cooked carrots. Serve over rice with all the fixings.