Ajiaco is a traditional, hearty Colombian soup prepared using chicken, potatoes and corn on the cob. It is seasoned with a Colombian herb known as guascas, and the dish is then topped with capers, avocado slices and cream. It is particularly popular in the capital city of Bogota.
As well as Columbia, ajiaco is also popular in Cuba and Peru. In Cuba, this dish is prepared as a stew that includes beef, pork, chicken and vegetables. However, in Peru, ajiaco is consumed as a side dish and is made using potatoes, garlic, chilies and herbs.
Origin & Cultural Significance
For a long time now researchers have debated the exact origin of ajiaco. In Cuba, this dish is known to have become famous during the 16th century, mainly among rural residents of the country, although it was seldom relished by the upper class. Ultimately, the exact origins are unknown.
- Large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts - 2
- Yellow onion, coarsely chopped - 1
- Garlic, coarsely chopped - 5 cloves
- Kosher salt - 1 tbsp
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1 tbsp
- Olive oil - 2 tbsp
- Chicken stock - 4 cups
- Mixed potatoes (like red, Yukon Gold, and russets), peeled and cut into bite-size chunks - 1 1/2 lb
- Frozen corn kernels - 1 1/2 cups
- Fresh cilantro, tied with kitchen twine - 1 bunch
- Green onions, tied with kitchen twine - 1 bunch
- Dried guascas - 2 tbsp
- Large avocados, thinly sliced - 2
- Mexican crema, or sour cream, or creme fraiche - 1/2 cup
- Coarsely chopped cilantro leaves - 1/2 cup
- Capers, drained and chopped - 2 tbsp
- Begin by gathering all the ingredients.
- Now take a glass or ceramic bowl and place the chicken in it. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper on top.
- Cover the bowl with a lid and keep it in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
- It’s time to take a heavy 4-quart lidded pot and add olive oil to it. Heat it over a medium-high flame.
- Add the chicken and vegetables to the hot oil and allow them to cook until they are brown in colour. This should take you about 6 minutes.
- Next, add the stock and turn the flame to high.
- As soon as the mixture starts to boil, decrease the flame to medium-low. After a minute or two, cover the pot and simmer. Allow the dish to cook until the chicken becomes tender. This should take you about 30 minutes.
- Place the chicken on a platter, keeping the liquid in the pot itself.
- When the chicken is cool enough to hold, get rid of the skin and throw it away. Remove the bones from the chicken breasts and cut them into mini strips.
- Now, take the potatoes and add them to the pot containing the cooking liquid, and turn the flame to medium. Place a lid over the pot and cook for the next 5 minutes.
- Throw in the corn, cilantro, green onions and guascas.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cook all the ingredients for 20 minutes, making sure the vessel is covered. Remember to cook potatoes until they become tender and are not overdone.
- Take out the cilantro and green onions and place the chicken back into the pot. Simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is completely warmed.
- Once done, serve in different bowls, and voila!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 7 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 842mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 9g