My mom says I skipped a generation because I enjoy cooking and homemaking. I want to share a very simple but delicious comfort food for so many Mexican families. We make chicken soup to heal the flu or any sickness, to heal the soul and make someone feel good, and also for no reason at all. I have so many family memories around a good bowl of chicken soup, and to me, it’s one of my favorite comfort meals.
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic started, I make chicken soup probably once a week, but I make a big pot big enough to feed the whole neighborhood, yet we are only a family of four. So when I prepare this meal, we eat it for a couple of days. One of my kids said once, “MOM! Stop it with the chicken soup!” But I keep telling them this boosts their immune system because it’s filled with vitamins and good stuff for them, especially since I make it as naturally as I can.
Today I want to share my recipe with you with a special trick I recently discovered.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 3 medium potatoes
- 5 carrots
- 4 celery sticks
- 3 tomatoes
- 2 onions
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves
- 1 chayote squash
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 broccolis
- 1 cauliflower
- 2 cups of jasmine rice
Steps to follow:
You’ll need a big pot (don’t ask me about measures, I get a big soup pot), put water in it, an onion, yes, a whole onion without the peel, two garlic cloves, and two chicken breasts.
Let that boil for at least 20 minutes, then clean the soup by straining it in a different pot because the chicken will lose some grease, blood, and other nasty things you don’t want floating in your delicious chicken soup. Be careful when doing this since the pot you’ll be holding is super hot, but it is important to have clear soup.
While everything is boiling, have some chopped potatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and chayote squash (this is a Mexican veggie, you can find at some grocery stores, but if not, try the bodegas, you’ll definitely find it there) ready to go.
After straining the broth, pour in the potatoes and carrots simultaneously, try to chop them the same size so they will cook together. While they cook, place in the blender three tomatoes, 2 or 3 garlic cloves, and one onion and blend them until smooth. Set apart.
On a deep pan with Teflon, pour some oil and 2 cups of jasmine rice. Cook until the rice changes color but don’t let it burn. Mix it constantly, so it all evens out. Once it all changes color, you’ll hear the sound the rice makes when moved has changed, and this is a good time to pour 2/3 of the tomato mixture in the pan. Be careful because it will steam up the kitchen so your fire alarms might go off (LOL). Mix and let the water in this mixture be consumed until you see it looks like the rice with tomato resembles a paste.
Now, add 3 cups of chicken broth (the one you are boiling on the other stovetop) and leave on high temperature for about 5 minutes and then change to medium. Add salt, serrano pepper, and a garlic clove to the rice while it has liquid still on. Let it cook on medium-low until you see the water has almost disappeared. Add one more cup of broth, let it cook for about 3 minutes more, and then turn off the fire and cover the pan with a lid. You should get fluffy and perfect red rice.
Now back to the chicken soup, about 10 minutes after you put the first ingredients, put in the cauliflower, pour in the rest of the tomato mixture, and mix. After about 5 minutes, put the celery and zucchini in, after five more minutes, put the broccoli and chayote squash in.
Then here is the secret ingredient—chicken bone broth.
There are several good brands out there. I’ll tell you the ones I have tried and used: Imagine chicken bone broth; Imagine organic Free Range chicken bone broth; Epic Artisanal Bone Broth Homestyle Savory Chicken, Pacific Broth Organic Free Range Chicken.
Those three I have tried and tested. They give the chicken soup an extra homemade flavor. Try it and tell me what you think…
Let it all sit for maybe five more minutes and then turn off the heat. Remove the chicken breasts and tear it in pieces so it can be served.
The way we serve it in Mexico is on a large, deep bowl a side of rice, the chicken, a spoonful or more of veggies and broth, then serve and top with some chopped cilantro, chopped onions, chipotle pepper (the one that comes already pickled in a can) to taste, avocado cubes, and a drizzle of lemon to taste.
I hope you enjoy it, and if you make it, please let me know. I’m on social media @unaregiaporelmundo, and I’d love to hear your opinion. Stay healthy everyone.