November 13, 2008

Recipe: Peruvian Caldo de Gallina (Chicken Soup)

A soup from the coast of Peru, made with chicken and noodles. It has a strong taste and people usually eat it in the morning, specially after a party night.


1 5–6-lb. stewing chicken or hen
2 leeks, trimmed, roughly chopped,
and washed well
2 ibs celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 1" piece ginger, peeled and smashed
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
6 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled
and left whole
6 oz. dried egg noodles
Kosher salt, to taste
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 limes, quartered
1 fresh red chile (such as fresno), stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped


We must start by rinsing the chicken under cold water and remove and discard giblets (or set aside for another use). Put chicken, leeks, celery, carrots, ginger, garlic, and 5 quarts cold water into an 8-quart stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the broth becomes rich and golden, 3 1⁄2 hours.

Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large plate; set aside. Set a fine sieve over a clean pot and strain broth into pot; discard vegetables. Add potatoes to broth, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.

As you do the last step, you also have to remove and discard skin from chicken. Pull the chicken meat from the carcass; discard carcass. Tear chicken meat into at least 6 large chunks.

Bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Add the egg noodles and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved chicken pieces and allow them to warm through. Season soup with salt. Divide soup between 6 deep serving bowls. Garnish each portion with eggs and some of the cilantro, scallions, limes, and chiles. Serve immediately.

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