Peruvian Chicken Soup with Rice and Potatoes

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins

Just like the soup it's inspired by, Peruvian aguadito de pollo, this recipe doesn't skimp on cilantro. Rice and potatoes make it substantial enough to serve as a main dish.


  • 1 whole chicken (4 ½ pounds), cut into 8 pieces with the backbone, plus 8 extra wings (1 ½ pounds)

  • 4 large sprigs parsley

  • 2 large sprigs thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, plus freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds (1 cup)

  • ½ stalk celery, cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices (½ cup)

  • 1 cup white rice

  • 1 ¾ cups peeled and diced russet potatoes

  • 2 packed cups chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed


  1. Fill a large pot with 14 cups water, chicken pieces, backbone, wings, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Skim foam, reduce heat, and gently simmer for 25 minutes. Remove chicken (except wings); continue simmering while you discard skin and remove meat from bones. Cover meat and refrigerate; return bones to pot and simmer 3 1/2 hours more.

  2. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids, including bones and wings. Skim fat and transfer broth to a clean pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, rice, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, 25 minutes.

  3. Cut or tear chicken into 3 cups of bite-size pieces. (You'll end up with an extra cup of meat; save it for a salad or a sandwich.) Blend together cilantro, chile, and garlic. Add chicken pieces, cilantro mixture, and corn to broth and heat through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

    Rice & Potatoes

Cook's Notes

The chicken and broth can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate separately in covered containers, then proceed to finish the soup. If making ahead, refrigerate the broth at least overnight to allow the fat to accumulate at the top, then lift off with a spoon before proceeding.

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