Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ajiaco (Bogota's Chicken and Potato Soup)

Yield 4.


2 x chicken breasts
garlic and onion
chicken stock
12 sm yellow potatoes, cut in halves
2 x ears of corn, cut in halves
8 med potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm slices
1 bn scallions
1 bn cilantro
8 tsp guascas
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp capers, drained
2 x avocados, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced


  • The night before marinate the chicken breasts with garlic, onion and salt. In a heavy 4-liter casserole, put the breasts, add water, cover and cook until the chicken is tender. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Cook the yellow potatoes in the casserole with the chicken stock until they start to disintegrate. Add more chicken stock to taste. At this point the soup should be thick and fairly smooth. Add the bunch of scallions, the bunch of cilantro, the sliced potatoes, the guascas, and the corn. When cooked remove the bunch of cilantro and the bunch of scallions. Serve the chicken on soup bowls and pour the soup into the bowls. Pour 3 T. of cream and 1 t. of chopped capers on each bowl. Float the sliced avocado on top.
  • Note: You definitively have to use guascas if you want to call your soup Ajiaco. It's not easy to get them out of Colombia, but they give this soup its characteristic flavor. Francisco Uribe wrote "Ajiacos a traves del mundo" which is the most comprehensive description of this herb I've read so far.

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