Caldo de Pollo recipe (Authentic Mexican Chicken Soup)

Caldo de pollo is eaten everywhere in Mexico.  Your abuelita makes it, and so your mother makes it, your neighbor shows up at your door with it when you’re sick, and you find it at many of the street side restaurants and kitchens in mainland Mexico.  Caldo de Pollo For The Mexican Soul would ring true for a lot of Chilangos, and it’s no wonder: traditional Mexican recipes like this caldo de pollo recipe are found everywhere in this country.  Whether it’s cold out and you feel like warming up with some comfort food, or you’ve come down with the flu and you’re sick and need something easy on the stomach, authentic Mexican chicken soup will very likely fit your dietary bill for such a day.

But enough chatter; here’s another one of my favorite authentic Mexican recipes:

Ingredients (serves 8 people):

Carrots – 3 large ones
Chicken breast – 1 medium size whole one, with bones left in and with the skin removed–but still in your possession: we use need it for the recipe
White Potatoes – 2 large ones
Garlic Cloves – 3 of them
White onion – 1/2 medium size one
Squash – 2 medium size ones
Cilantro – 5 branches
Corn cob – 1 whole one
Limes – 4 medium size ones
Rice – the “instant” type that cooks in ~10 minutes, not the raw kind
Chile Serrano (Serrano pepper) or Jalapeño pepper – one of either of these (your choice) will work for authentic recipes for caldo de pollo, just make sure it’s fresh!
Soft corn tortillas (for the true authentic Mexican food experience.  If you live in the US or the UK, or really anywhere abroad, and you can’t find corn tortillas in your stores, just use whatever kind of soft tortillas you have available.  I highly recommend the corn variety if you can find them, though.)


*** Before we start, you’re going to need a big pot to make this traditional Mexican recipe, one that is about 5L in volume.  If you don’t have one, you’re going to need to go get one, first. ***

Start by cleaning and disinfecting your chicken and vegetables.

Fill your pot with three liters of water.

Put it on the stove on “high” and add garlic, onion, cilantro, 2 tbs salt, and 1 tbs pepper.

I’ll note this right now: when you’re not adding ingredients to this authentic mexican chicken soup, your pot should be covered at all times with a lid. Traditional Mexican recipes like this need to stay hot while being cooked.

Add the whole chicken to the pot, with the bones still inside, and add the chicken skin, too.

Dice your two large potatoes into about eight pieces per potato, so you have about 16 pieces total.  You don’t want the pieces to be small because they’ll just disintegrate in the soup later on, so keep the pieces fairly big.  You want chunks, not bits.  Add these chunks to the pot.

Cut the corn cob into ~3cm wide segments/slices, and add to pot.

Let this all cook until it’s boiling, then wait a little bit longer, and then add the squash after cutting it into 1/4s if it’s a big squash, and just two halves if it’s small.

Cut your carrots into 1/4 pieces, and add all pieces to the pot.

Stir everything a bit.

Check to see how the other vegetables are doing, to see if they’re cooked.  If they are, remove them to a plate.

Next, if the pot is boiling vigorously at this point, reduce heat to medium.  Let it boil for another 10 minutes.

Check the carrots at this point: they need to be soft, not mushy.

Then add enough rice for eight people (look at the instructions on the side of your rice box for portion advice, but generally it’s going to be somewhere around two cups)

Let everything cook some more until the rice is ready to eat, in the mixture with everything else.

Now remove the bones and the chicken skin out of the pot, and serve in a bowl, with “even vegetable distribution” (about the same amount of veggies for everyone).  With the chicken breast, cut it into even pieces for each serving, and add to bowls.

To finish this traditional Mexican recipe off, garnish by chopping up some cilantro and onions and your Serrano or jalapeño pepper (make sure they’re fresh) and sprinkle it on top of the soup.

Now just squeeze 1/2 a lime into each serving, and serve hot with a soft corn tortilla–for the 100% authentic Mexican experience.  Trust me on this one: Mexicans eat tortillas with everything… it’s just part of the culture.

I think you’ll really like this caldo de pollo recipe, so try it out on a cold day when you need to warm up and you feel like trying deeply traditional Mexican recipes.  Until next time, keep testing out new recipes and expanding your authentic Mexican recipes repertoire!

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  1. Elizabeth
    Posted May 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    thank you for this! I am about to be in charge of the food for a shelter for flood evacuees in Memphis and have been told that up to 90 percent of the evacuees may be Latino. I am planning to have this on hand and hoping it will be a comfort to these families! I know the children in particular will appreciate some comforting soup!

  2. Posted May 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    That is so cool Elizabeth. Thank you for helping make the world a better place.

  3. Claudia
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Thank you for kindly putting this delicious recipe up. A real comfort food!

  4. Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    de nada, Claudia!

2 Trackbacks

  • […] Mexican chicken soup is a great meal for a cold day, when you just want to stay in and eat something tasty and yummy and savor all that flavor right there in the bowl, and it's also a great dish if you're sick and you need something simple and easy for your stomach to digest, so be sure to check it out.  The full recipe is here:  Caldo de Pollo recipe. […]

  • […] need of some comfort food I thought I'd share this here; it's a new recipe I just wrote up for Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup) I'd post it right here for you but I already put it up there and I'm damn tired right now… But […]

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