Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style is a beautiful recipe of heart warming soup that will make you and your family very happy. The combination of simple ingredients, the rice, the cilantro and the chicken drumsticks make the soup a comfort meal.
We love soups. I do not know about you, but there is no week in our household without a pot of soup that we enjoy for lunch or dinner.
Also, we live in Minnesota where the winters are so cold that all we want to eat is homemade soup.
What is Caldo De Pollo:
Caldo de pollo is a Mexican chicken soup that is made with different parts of chicken and vegetables. It is nutritious, delicious and comforting.
Caldo means soup, while pollo means chicken.
While every Mexican household has its own recipe of Caldo de Pollo, the recipe in general has chicken, lots of different vegetables, a little rice or pasta, and it is served perhaps with a slice or two of avocado, fresh cilantro(coriander) and always wedges of lime on the side.
This recipe of Caldo de Pollo or Chicken Soup Mexican style is one of our favorites and in heavy rotation from November to April. It has some incredibly devoted fans.
The combination of simple ingredients, the rice, the cilantro and the chicken drumsticks make the soup a real comfort meal.
When you serve it, add some sliced avocado to the bowl of soup, squeeze some lime juice and serve it with some warm corn tortillas.
Your meal will be perfect.
This is a very friendly recipe for children too, so feel free to make it for everyone around. Makes a great main dish for dinner and awesome lunch.
Before I forget, do you know which other recipe would be great for the entire family? This Authentic Mexican Tinga de Pollo – Chicken in Chipotle Tomato Sauce.
A Taco Tuesday is a great opportunity to make the dish. While you cook that tinga, an appetizer would be perfect to serve. Have you ever tried a Pico de Gallo with Tuna? Yum!
Saltines are the traditional way to serve this appetizer in the Mexico City area, but tortilla chips are perfectly acceptable as well.
Chicken Soup- Mexican Style
Getting back to the soup recipe, remember the series of books “Chicken soup for the soul”? When I look at this recipe, it reminds me of that book.
Chicken soup is supposed to be good for you, by warming you up from inside out and making you feel safe, happy, and cozy.
When you are sick, each spoonful tastes like soothing relief and healing.
The grandmothers say that a good chicken soup can heal anything, from a bad cold to a broken heart and I think they are right.
You might not believe me, but even the medical field recognizes that chicken soup does miracles to your immunity and well being.
Also, there is something magic about a bowl of chicken soup on a cold day.
In Mexico, every household has its own version of “Caldo de Pollo” and each region of the country makes this soup using ingredients that are specific to the area.
What kind of chicken is good for this caldo de pollo?
I used chicken drumsticks and thighs for this soup, but any part of the chicken is good. Go for the wings, the back of the bird or the legs.
I do not recommend skinless, boneless chicken breast, as the meat will not infuse the broth with a lot of flavor, but if this is all you have, go for it.
Traditionally, best “caldo de pollo” or chicken soup is made with chicken parts that have bones and skin on.
Sometimes, an entire chicken is cooked to make a good broth. If you have an entire chicken, cut it in pieces and use it for the soup.
I like the meat with bones and skin on. Just so you know, the parts of the chicken with the skin and bone bring more flavor to the dish.
If you have to use ordinary chicken, buy extra back and giblets to strengthen the flavor.
What kind of ingredients you need for an authentic caldo de pollo:
Vegetables– good soups are made with vegetables. For this recipe you will need carrots, onions, potatoes, green celery, Roma tomatoes and garlic.
All these items are easy to store in your kitchen, in a cool place. They are also perfect to make a lot of soups and stews in the winter.
You can add more vegetables if you want. Cabbage, zucchini, Mexican chayote are in general the traditional vegetables added to the caldo de pollo.
My recipe doesn’t include these vegetables, but you can feel free to add them if you want.
Two words about the potatoes used in this soup:
Someone asked me what kind of potatoes are good for the soup. Good question and I am glad you asked. There are different options in the US.
You need a type of potato that holds well in the soup and doesn’t fall apart during cooking. A good option would be waxy potatoes.
Yukon gold or red potatoes work really well too.
Cilantro– This is a truly popular herb in Mexican cuisine.
Some people have a love or hate relationship with it, so I will say this: if you want an authentic taste of this Mexican soup, use it, if you absolutely hate it, use parsley, I am not going to watch.
- Tomato sauce– I used canned tomato sauce. You can also use tomato paste instead of sauce(You will need about 1-2 tablespoons of paste).
- Olive oil(or vegetable oil)– use what you have
- Rice– I used long grain rice
Water- you do not need chicken stock for this recipe, you are going to flavor the soup with vegetables and meat and make your own broth.
Lime– brings an extra layer of flavor to the soup. Cut it in wedges and squeeze some juice over the soup.
Avocado– Slice and add it on top of the soup as a garnish. Yum!
Corn tortillas– warm corn tortillas are the way to go for an authentic taste of this caldo de pollo recipe.
Spices and what is different about this caldo de pollo recipe:
This caldo de pollo/chicken soup is made with rice and tomatoes that are cooked separately from the broth. This is what sets this soup apart from other caldo de pollo recipes out there.
The process of cooking the rice, tomatoes and onions together, separate from the broth, adds tremendous flavor to the soup, so I really encourage you to follow the recipe as I wrote it.
Some people complained that the soup is bland and lacks spices or seasoning. I am not sure what kind of soup they were looking for.
Chicken soup in general, no matter which country the recipe comes from, is a simple soup made with chicken and vegetables.
There are not a lot of spices added to it, because it is designed to be a comforting item good for every member of the family, from young to old.
In Mexico, chicken soup or caldo de pollo is served simple or with different toppings added at the time of serving, like lime wedges, slices of avocado, jalapenos, or sliced radishes.
Do you want it spicy? Add some hot sauce to it, salsa Valentina is traditional and really tasty.
However, the base of the soup is made simple, without the addition of spices.
How to make caldo de pollo or Mexican chicken soup
Start with the chicken.
In a large pot, place the water, chicken, salt, and garlic. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and allow everything to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Skim the foam that forms on top of the soup, using a spoon.
While the chicken is simmering, in a separate pan, heat up the oil and cook the rice until the color is golden brown, without burning.
Add chopped onions and cook them until translucent.
Bring in the tomatoes to the rice and cook together for a few minutes.
This mixture goes into the soup pot together with the chicken.
The combination brings another layer of flavors to the soup and it ends up being delicious.
Add the vegetables to the soup.
Add carrots, celery, and potatoes to the soup and allow them to come to a boil. Reduce heat. Let it simmer until vegetables cook through, about 20-30 minutes.
At this point, your chicken should be cooked enough.
You can leave the pieces of the chicken in the pot as they are, or you can remove them from the soup, and shred the meat for easier serving.
Add tomato sauce and cilantro during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Check again for salt.
Ladle soup into bowls including a piece of chicken for each serving, and serve with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas.
Optional: Add slices of avocado to your soup.
How to store this easy to make “Caldo de Pollo Mexicano”?
This homemade chicken soup should be stored covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week. Warm it up on the stove or microwave.
You can also freeze it for up to three months and these containers are great for storing the soup.
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Revised and republished on 01/19/2021
- 8 cups water
- 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup white long grain rice
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tomatoes chopped( Roma tomatoes)
- 2 carrots sliced
- 3 potatoes quartered
- 1 green celery chopped
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 Lime sliced wedges for serving
- Corn tortillas for serving
- optional 1 avocado sliced
- In a large pot, place the water, chicken, salt, and garlic. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. While the broth is simmering, skim the foam that forms on top of the water.
- In a separate pan, heat up the oil on medium heat, add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
- Add chopped onion and continue cooking until onion is translucent, for about 2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomato and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add this mixture to the chicken pot.
- Stir in the carrots, celery, and potatoes to the soup and let come to a boil. Reduce heat. Allow it to simmer until vegetables cook through, about 20-30 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, cilantro during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Check again for salt.
- Ladle soup into bowls including a piece of chicken for each serving, and serve with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas.
- Optional: Add slices of avocado to your soup.
What kind of chicken meat to use for this caldo de pollo:
I used chicken drumsticks and thighs for this soup, but any part of the chicken is good. I do not recommend chicken breast, as the meat will not infuse the broth with a lot of flavor.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 1111mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 37g