Ajiaco is a delicious and comforting Colombian chicken and potato soup. It’s a hearty dish with a unique flavor profile, thanks to the use of three types of potatoes and the herb called “guascas.” Here’s a traditional Ajiaco recipe:
For the Soup:
3 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on
8 cups of water
3 cups of chicken broth
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ears of corn on the cob, cut into rounds
2-3 pounds of mixed potatoes (creole, Andean, and waxy), peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 tablespoons dried guascas (a Colombian herb, if available)
1 cup heavy cream or sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Garnishes:
Capers, for serving
Avocado slices, for serving
Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving
In a large pot, combine the chicken breasts, water, chicken broth, chopped onion, and minced garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot, shred the meat, and discard the bones and skin. Set the shredded chicken aside.
Add the corn rounds and the mixed potatoes (creole, Andean, and waxy) to the pot with the broth. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender, usually for about 30-40 minutes.
Add the dried guascas to the pot. Guascas are a traditional Colombian herb used in ajiaco, and they contribute a unique flavor. If you can’t find guascas, you can substitute with a small amount of ground cumin.
Return the shredded chicken to the pot and let the soup simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle the Ajiaco into bowls. Each bowl should include a mix of chicken, potatoes, and corn rounds.
Serve with a side of heavy cream or sour cream, capers, avocado slices, and chopped fresh cilantro. Diners can add these garnishes to their soup as they like.
Ajiaco is often served with white rice and a slice of ripe avocado. It’s a comforting and filling dish, perfect for cooler days or when you’re in the mood for a taste of Colombian comfort food. Enjoy!