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.
© 2013 All rights reserved. Published by Hippocrene Books.