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Caldo de Pollo: Mexican Chicken Soup

December 8, 2016
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D.

Serves 6

Total Time:

At this time of year, comforting, hot soups are just what the doctor ordered. Even more, this soup is easy to make, freezes well, and is a delight to the senses. As I’ve mentioned before chicken soup helps reduce inflammation. Enjoy this delightful Mexican soup.

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  • 8 cups water
  • 4-6 chicken thighs, skinless
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup long grain rice
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
  • ⅓ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon safflower petals (azafran)


  1. In a 10 quart or larger pot, boil water, with chicken, salt, and garlic for 15 minutes.
  2. At the same time, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and toast the rice, stirring 2-3 minutes. (If you are cooking white rice, it will brown nicely.) Add onion and cook 2 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomato and cook additional 3 minutes.
  3. Add rice mixture and remaining vegetables (not including the tomato sauce) to chicken pot. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for at least an additional 20-30 minutes. The vegetables need to cook through, as well as the rice. If you chose brown rice or wild rice, expect to cook another 10-20 minutes, and you may want to add another ½ cup water to your soup.
  4. At the end of the cook time, add tomato sauce, cilantro, and safflower petals, and give it a quick stir.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls. (Make sure everyone gets some chicken.) Serve with lime wedges, tortillas, and your favorite salsa.


Marquez-Sharpnack, Yvette. “Caldo De Pollo (Homemade Chicken Soup).” Muy Bueno Cookbook. December 10, 2014. Accessed November 10, 2016.

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