The real version of this dish requires a special herb called guasca, which is a unique flavor. We added bay leaves to get somewhere close.
- 3 pounds chicken thighs and legs, skin removed, rinsed well
- 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 quarts water
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 pounds small potatoes, of various colors
- 2 ears of fresh corn, cut crosswise into 1-2 inch rounds
- 4 scallions (white and light green parts only)
- 2 Roma or other plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles or 2 fresh hot red chiles, stems and seeds removed (wear gloves, do NOT touch your eyes!)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Garnish: capers, sour cream, avocados, cilantro
1 Put the chicken, diced russet potatoes, chopped onion and garlic in a large (at least 8 quart) stock pot and add 1 1/2 quarts of water and the quart of chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to a vigorous simmer. Add the cumin, bay leaves and salt to taste. Simmer this until the meat wants to fall of the bones of the chicken — anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour, 15 minutes.
2 When the chicken is ready, remove it and the bay leaves from the soup and set in a large bowl. If you are going to puree the soup base with an immersion blender or by putting the soup into a regular blender in batches, do so now.
3 Pour the pureed soup base back into the pot and bring to a very gentle simmer. Add the second batch of potatoes and cook until tender, about 20-40 minutes, depending on size.
4 While the potatoes are cooking, shred the meat off the chicken bones and set aside. Make the salsa by pulsing all the ingredients in a food processor until they're finely minced. Transfer to a serving bowl.
5 Drop the pieces of corn on the cob into the simmering soup and cook for 5 minutes.
6 Serve the soup with the salsa, capers, sliced avocados, sour cream, and cilantro in separate bowls. Let people add garnishes to their own servings.