- 9 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 large bunch of cilantro (about 6 ounces), 1/2 cup chopped, the rest tied together with string
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
- Large pinch of saffron threads
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 chicken (3 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
- 3/4 pound small potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 3/4 pound frozen yuca, thawed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 3/4 pound carrots, cut into thick rounds
- 1 green plantain, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 2 ears of corn, shucked and cut into 2-inch rounds
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
- In a large heavy casserole, combine chicken stock with the onion, garlic, cilantro and cumin. Crumble in the saffron threads and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, season the stock with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken thighs, legs and wings and simmer for 15 minutes; do not let the stock boil. Add the chicken breasts and simmer until all of the meat is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes longer.
- Remove the chicken from the casserole and let cool. Discard the cilantro. Skin the chicken and, if desired, pull the meat off the bones. Skim the fat from the soup.
- Twenty minutes before serving, bring the soup to a simmer. Add the potatoes, yuca, carrots and plantain and simmer over moderate heat for 12 minutes. Add the corn and chicken and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes longer. Season generously with salt and pepper. Ladle the stew into large bowls, garnish with the avocado and serve.
The recipe can can be prepared through Step 2, up to 4 hours ahead. (Cover and refrigerate the stock and chicken separately.)
One Serving Calories 610 kcal, Total Fat 10.1 gm, Saturated Fat 3.2 gm.
For this South American chicken dinner, serve a crisp, fruity South American white, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, to contrast with the meaty broth and earthy corn bread. Or serve a full-flavored Mexican beer, such as Dos Equis.