Everyone has that comfort food they remember growing up. For most, it’s a chicken soup or a stew that mom or grandma made either when you were sick or during those cold winter months. My grandmother’s version of a Peruvian soup staple is that memory for me. I loved it. I still do! I am lucky enough to still have my Ita to call when I forget a recipe or want to take on a new one. Which is exactly what I did when I had a hankering for my comfort food.
Now, my Ita is old school with recipes. She doesn’t believe in measuring by cups/spoons at all. She says things like, you put this and that in and maybe a sprinkle of that other thing. Ask her for amounts, she scoffs and says you don’t need them… just do what I say! LOL So, I have put together this recipe as close as possible to measurements as I could. If I say a little of this, or a dash of that, well, forgive me…I am my Ita’s grandchild after all.
Aguadito de Pollo
- 6-8 chicken pieces, cleaned (I prefer leg & thigh but can be any)
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tablespoons dry oregano (1 and 1/2 or less if fresh- chopped)
- 3 tbspn Olive Oil (Ita uses Canola, I like EVOO)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 and 1/2 chicken bouillon cube
- 5 cups of water (2 cups with cilantro)
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 carrots cubes
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1-2 corn on the cob (in fourths) (optional)
- lime wedges (optional)
Cut off the stems of the cilantro bunch, wash, and then put in a blender. Add 2 cups of water to blender, and blend on high until cilantro is well blended. Set aside.
In a big pot, heat oil and toss in onions, oregano and minced garlic. Sautee for about 2-4 mins while stirring over medium heat. Add in chicken, with some salt and light pepper and stir for about 7-9 mins to lightly brown both sides of chicken pieces.
Once chicken has some color, pour in cilantro mixture and stir. Allow mixture to come to a boil, lower heat and let mixture simmer for about 10 mins (this lets the chicken absorb the cilantro flavor).
Add in remainder of water, bouillon cubes, some more salt (I usually do one sprinkle around the pot) and a few dashes of pepper and stir. Allow to simmer and stir occassionally for about 15 mins.
Add rice to mixture, stir, lower heat and cover. Allow to cook for about 10-12 mins.
Add carrots, peas and corn, stir to mix in. Cover for an additional 5-8 mins.
Serve with lime wedge (I squeeze the lime juice into my bowl, it enhances the flavor…my hubs says it’s fine without, so it’s up to you. Enjoy!