This authentic Mexican chicken soup recipe, caldo de pollo con arroz, is a favorite in our house, and in most Mexican households. It’s quick. It’s easy. And best of all, it’s light and tasty.
- CHICKEN BROTH
- 1 bone-in chicken breast (skin-on or skinless)
- 3 carrots
- 1 bulb or head of garlic
- 1 white onion
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 1 carrot, cooked and diced (take a carrot from the broth)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp cooking oil (olive oil or vegetable oil)
- Salt to taste
- SOUP GARNISH
- 1 handful cilantro sprigs
- ½ white onion
- 2 Serrano chili peppers
- 2-4 limes Mexican or key limes
MAKE THE CHICKEN BROTH
Place the chicken breast in a large pot. Slice the carrots in half and quarter the onion. Add the carrots and ¾ of the onion to the pot, along with the whole bulb of garlic, unpeeled.
Fill the pot with water until it covers the chicken by about an inch and a half, and add a teaspoon of salt.
Cook over high heat, and bring to a boil.
Continue cooking for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Skim off any foam that forms.
Once the chicken is cooked, strain and reserve the broth. Place the chicken and carrots in a dish to cool, and discard the onion and garlic.
While the chicken and carrots cool, finely chop the onion, cilantro and Serrano chili (optional), and quarter the lemons.
Once the chicken has cooled, shred using two forks to separate, or by pulling off the bone a pinch at a time with your fingers.
MAKE THE RICE
Peel the cooked carrots from the broth and cut them into quarters lengthwise. Reserve several sticks for serving.
Dice the carrots and remaining uncooked quarter of onion into ¼ inch pieces.
Place a pot over medium heat, drizzle in a teaspoon of cooking oil and add the uncooked rice. Quickly stir to combine.
Add the carrots and onions and stir.
Pour in the water and add salt to taste, cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated.
SERVING YOUR SOUP
Gather your garnishes and ladle a spoonful of rice into a serving bowl.
Pour reserved chicken broth over the rice to fill the bowl about three quarters.
Add four reserved carrot sticks, 1 tablespoon each of onion and cilantro, a half cup of shredded chicken, and top with a squeeze of lemon.