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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
2 pounds chicken thighs
1 large yellow onion roughly chopped
5 gloves garlic chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
fresh ground pepper
sea salt
6 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds Potatoes papa criollas, if you can find them; otherwise, any mix of red, yukon gold, and russets - cup into bite size chunks
3 corn on the cob husked and halved
1 bunch cilantro tied with twine
1 bunch green onions tied with twine
3 Tbsp dried guascas I ordered it on Amazon; you can substitute bay leaves and fresh parsley, but it won't have the exact same effect
To Garnish
2 avocado pitted and sliced
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
3 Tbsps capers

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Colombia: Ajiaco

Chicken and Potato Soup

Colombian Ajiaco really is the ultimate comfort food – I’d take it over chicken noodle any day!

Cuisine:

Ingredients

  • To Garnish

Directions

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Even though our Colombia trip was in the “foodie era”, I don’t have really vivid memories of what we ate.  I remember some of the best meals being those that Blanca prepared during our trek through the jungle, but I’m sure my hunger from a long day of hiking had something to do with that.  I also remember enjoying fresh fried fish on the beach.

Since we spent our time on the Northern coast, one thing we never had while we were there was Ajiaco, a classic chicken and potato soup that originated in the mountainous region around Bogota.  Key to this dish is guascas, a dried Colombian herb that can be found in some Latin grocers or ordered online.  I’ve included some options for substitutions if you can’t find it, but the flavor profile is pretty unique.

Although I’m usually eager and willing to swap in sweet potatoes to accommodate my husband’s strong dislike of potatoes, in this case I decided that would have compromised the authenticity of the dish, so he had to eat around them. Luckily, the rich flavorful broth, which I made using my leftover turkey stock from Thanksgiving, made him quickly forget his potato plight.  Ajiaco really is the ultimate comfort food – I’d take it over chicken noodle any day.

The garnishes are also key to the satisfying flavor profile of this soup.  The crème fraîche infuses a rich creaminess into the entirety of the broth, complimented by the salty tang of the capers.  And of course buttery avocado make everything better.  I served it with a side of sopy paraguaya, for which I’ll be sharing the recipe tomorrow!

Recipe Source: The Kitchn (blog)

Steps

1
Done

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the chicken and brown each side, about 6 minutes total.

2
Done

Pour in the stock and raise the heat to high. When the mixture boils, lower the heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer. Cook until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.

3
Done

Transfer the chicken to a platter, reserving the cooking liquid in the pot. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the chicken and discard.

4
Done

Place the potatoes in the pot with the leftover cooking liquid and set over medium heat. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

5
Done

Add the bunch of scallions, the bunch of cilantro, and the guascas. Simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook for another 8 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but not overcooked.

6
Done

Remove the cilantro and scallions and return the chicken to the pot. Simmer another few minutes until the chicken is warmed through.

7
Done

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with avocado, capers and crème fraîche.

Johanna

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Paraguay: Sopa Paraguaya
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Paraguay: Sopa Paraguaya

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