07 September 2011

Caldo de Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice Soup)

It's cooled down around here.  It's in the mid 90s in the afternoons and the mornings, well, I was down right chilled yesterday.  It was 67! 
Since temps dropped, I'm in the mood for one of my favorite soups.

This is a staple at just about every Mexican restaurant here in South Texas.   The first time I tasted it was at lunch one afternoon.  I went back that night for supper and got a bigger bowl.  Later that week, I had Pool Guy stop and pick up some more for me.  You have to get it early because they only make so much and once it's gone, you're outta luck.  On more than one occasion, at my favorite restaurant, I was told they didn't make it that day or they were out so... I decided I had to learn to make it myself.

Caldo de Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice Soup)
This recipe makes 4-5 servings if it's your main dish (big bowls).  You can easily double or triple to accommodate the number of people eating. 

  • 1 Chicken leg quarter (I used a large one, you could add a thigh if yours is small)
  • 3 small potatoes, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 handful baby carrots (or 1 large carrot roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn (frozen corn that has been thawed can be used too)
  • 1 pot rice
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 quart water (give or take)
  • 1 packet Sazon (which I was out of today)
  • fresh limes (for squeezing into soup when served)
  • salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder

Season your chicken getting under the skin and place in the fridge over night.

Bring you water and boullion to a boil in a large sauce pan.

Put your chicken in the pan and cook until it can be pulled from the bone with a fork. (I cooked mine about 40 min.)

Remove your chicken and set aside.

Cook rice according to package directions and set aside when done.  (you can do this early in the day if you wish)

Strain the broth (water) and return to pot adding enough water to fill 2/3 of the way.

Taste your broth and add Sazon and any seasonings (or more boullion) to suit your tastes.

Add potatoes and cook until soft but not mushy.  About 10 min depending on the size you cut them.  (I keep mine small enough to fit on a spoon but large enough to be a mouthful)

Once the chicken cools enough to handle, remove skin (discard) and meat from bone shredding in to bite sized pieces. 

Turn heat off and add carrots to pot and return shredded meat to pot.   Cover and let carrots soften a bit, about 5 min.

To serve:

Place 1/3 cup of rice in bottom of bowl.  Spoon some corn over the top and then ladle some of the soup over the top of it.  Be sure to get some potato chunks and carrots in your bowl.  Squeeze a lime quarter into it.  It makes a huge difference in flavor.  Trust me, you'll like it!  You can tear up corn or flour tortillas and drop them in too if you wish.  Pool Guy eats his this way.

Note:  I keep the rice and corn separate from the soup for two reasons:  1) that's how it's served in the restaurant and   2) I don't like soggy corn or mushy, bloated, overcooked rice.   Keep leftovers separate and then put together before microwaving. 


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