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Caldo de Fandango del Valle (Oaxacan Chicken Soup) from Oaxaca by Bricia Lopez and the family behind LA's Guelaguetza with Javier Cabral.
Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Bricia Lopez and the family behind LA’s Guelaguetza with Javier Cabral.
Our cookbook of the week is Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Bricia Lopez and the family behind LA’s Guelaguetza with Javier Cabral. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with one of its authors.
To try another recipe from the book, check out: Chilaquiles rojos (in rustic Oaxacan tomato sauce).
Well-trodden as far as culinary maxims go, the concept of chicken soup as a cure-all has been with us for centuries. While modern research suggests there very well may be some credence to medieval philosopher Maimonides’s ancient prescription, the bone-warming comfort it can bring is pretty undeniable.
A near universal, examples of chicken soup abound around the world. This Oaxacan version, thickened with bread and served with warm tortillas, makes a welcome addition to any cold-weather repertoire.
“It’s one of my favourite recipes, to be honest. It’s super warming,” says Bricia Lopez. “There are so many ways of making chicken soup, but you’ve never probably heard of this way. And for us it’s just so innate. There’s this fluidity when it comes to Oaxacan food where there aren’t any rules — you can mix and match, and create your own flavours. I think this is one that was born out of (that mindset). It gets a little bit thickened from a little bit of bread and it’s just really, really good.”
CALDO DE FANDANGO DEL VALLE
Oaxacan Chicken Soup
3 tbsp (45 mL) sea salt
1 whole chicken (about 2 lb/1 kg), butchered into eight pieces
1/2 small white onion (50 g), quartered, plus 1/2 cup chopped white onion (50 g)
1 slice (90 g) white bread
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin seeds
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 2/3 cups (300 g) chopped tomatoes
3 serrano chilies, stems removed
For the garnishes:
4 to 6 limes, sliced
2 tbsp (30 mL) chunky sea salt
White rice, cooked and warmed
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring 10½ cups (2.5 L) of water to a boil and add the salt. Put the chicken and onion half in the pot. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 40 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth and set aside. Remove and discard the onion.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the bread and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the chicken broth. Once the bread has soaked up all the broth, put the bread in a blender with another 1/4 cup (60 mL) of broth and purée.
In a molcajete or spice grinder, grind the cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves and oregano until finely ground.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped onion, garlic, spices and oregano, and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 minutes or until the tomatoes start to change colour.
Put the tomato mixture, chicken, serrano chilies and puréed bread in the pot of broth. Bring the chicken soup back to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes more or until the chilies change colour.
Serve with sliced lime, a chunky salt, white rice and tortillas.
Serves: 4 to 6
Excerpted from Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Bricia Lopez and the family behind LA’s Guelaguetza with Javier Cabral. Copyright © 2019 Bricia Lopez. Published by Abrams, an imprint of ABRAMS. Photographs copyright © 2019 Quentin Bacon. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019