Homemade Chicken Soup

Caldo de Pollo


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4 to 6


Appears in

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Muy Bueno

By Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Published 2013

  • About

This was one of mi mamá’s favorite dishes on cold winter days, or when we had a cold or the flu. It warms you to the core and soothes those annoying body aches that show up during cold season. She would also make this soup on wash days, so she would not have to spend too much time in the kitchen while she was busy washing clothes. Wash day for her meant a full day of washing clothes with a washboard, hanging them outside on the line to dry, folding them, and finally ironing piles of clothes. I know a bowl of this restorative soup was the perfect meal after that hard day’s work!


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


In a large (at least 10-quart) pot, put the water, chicken, salt, and garlic. Boil for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is boiling, in a separate pan, heat the oil over medium heat, add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to let it burn. Add onion and continue cooking until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add tomato and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add mixture to chicken pot.

Add carrots, celery, and potatoes to soup and let come to a boil; reduce heat. Let simmer until vegetables cook through, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add tomato sauce, cilantro, and safflower petals during the last 5 minutes. Ladle soup, including a piece of chicken for each serving, into bowls and serve with lime wedges, warm corn tortillas, and salsa casera.