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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) 1

Aguadito. Aguadito. While waiting for my order of 1/4 Peruvian roast chicken and two sides at Pollo Mania - El Monte, I wondered what was in this lovely green soup. I would have ordered it, but I had a coupon for the chicken you see, and well, I can't let the coupon go to waste. Ordering chicken, two sides, and a big container of soup was too much, even if it was for the blog.

So I got home and Googled and found out that it was basically a chicken soup with potatoes, rice, and peas and pureed cilantro. Ooooh. If you're a cilantro lover, you'll know what I mean. At the time, I didn't have any chicken or potatoes on hand, so I made an Aguadito-ish Vegetable Soup and added pureed cilantro and it was lovely. Loooovely.

Later, I made a proper aguadito de pollo (Peruvian chicken soup) and the recipe just needed the perfect opportunity to shine. Something like Weekend Wokking - the CILANTRO edition! Umm, yes, I know I'm tardy, but if I can't sneak a recipe into my own blogging event, then when can I? :P Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok graciously took on the task at the last minute with 9 cilantro recipes (once she adds mine ;P ).

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) 2

Cilantro is one of those controversial herbs. It seems people either love it or hate it, there's no in between. Obviously, you can tell which side I fall. I've read that this might be genetic, that cilantro-haters think it tastes soapy and metallic? It just tastes green to me. If you don't like cilantro, I just can't help you there.

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) 3

Aguadito de Pollo
(Peruvian Chicken Soup)

For a 3-quart pot, you'll need:
2 chicken thighs or breasts
1 cup white rice
3 large potatoes
1 small onion
1 bunch cilantro
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tsp salt, or more to taste

Optional: Squeeze at bit of lime at the end.

Fill a 5-quart stock pot about 3/4-full of water. When the water boils, add the chicken pieces and about 1 tsp salt. When the water boils again, skim the scum and turn the temperature to medium-high for about half an hour. Keep the broth at a low boil. The high heat will extract flavor from the bones and produce a quick and flavorful broth.

Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Set them aside in a bowl of salted water so the potatoes don't brown.

Puree 1 small onion, 1 bunch cilantro with stems too, and 3 cloves garlic. Oooh, look at that lovely green.

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) 4

When the broth is ready, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pot along with 1 cup of rice. Shred the chicken off the bones and put that back into the pot as well. Let simmer for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat.

When the rice is almost fully-cooked and the potatoes have sufficiently softened, add the cilantro paste and 1/2 cup frozen peas. Taste and add salt if necessary. Stir and cover the pot for another 5 minutes or so for the flavors to meld. If the pureed onions still taste too strong, let the broth simmer for a few more minutes.

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) 5

It's hard to describe what happens when cilantro is pureed and infuses this simple chicken broth. It's just so comforting and addictive.

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) 6

The cilantro will turn darker on subsequent re-heatings, but it'll still taste just as good.

Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup) 7

Serve with some lime wedges to squeeze into the soup if you'd like.


I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. This month's secret ingredient is CILANTRO.

The host this month is Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok. Check her blog for 9 cilantro recipes. If you'd like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month.

My other cilantro recipes:
Aji Verde (Peruvian Green Chili Sauce)
Chicken Pot Pie with Cilantro Biscuits
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)
Kefta Kebabs (Middle Eastern Ground Meat Kebabs)
Salsa Verde with Roasted Tomatillos

1 year ago today, Mi Xao Don Thit Bo (Vietnamese Crispy Chow Mein with Beef).
2 years ago today, Sauteed Squash Blossoms.


  1. What a lovely soup! I have the chicken, the broth, all the rest of the ingredients. I am going to try making this soup. yum! Thanks!

  2. sounds amazing! how come i haven't thought of making soup with loads of cilantro before ^_^

  3. Oh, my. I'm of the cilantro love camp. Maybe even a fanatic? lol

    I am so making this soup.

  4. La Takahashi,
    Let me know how it turns out!

    My Last Bite,

    Will you be making it soon? I know how much of a cilantro lover you are.

    I've chopped up cilantro and added it to soups before, but until I made aguadito, I never thought of pureeing it. Adds a completely different dimension.

    Love or hate it, right? No in-between.

  5. Oh my goodness. I have never heard of such a soup. But I LOVE cilantro.

  6. What a nice looking vibrant green soup!

  7. I'm a huge fan of Peruvian food and this soup is one of my favorites! Your version looks just marvelous! You've inspired me to save a few bucks and make it for myself!

  8. omg this looks soooo good. reminds me of a bolivian chicken soup but not green. next free time i have will be used in making this. thanks!!

  9. We are genetically inclined to like or not like cilantro, broccoli as well. For some people (I'm one of them) cilantro, or for that matter pickled ginger, tastes like soap or detergent! For others, broccoli tastes extremely bitter.

    Anyway, what I wanted to comment is that the cilantro-not-so-lovers camp can very well make this soup with parsley!

  10. I'm not sure if I actually love Peruvian food or if I am just a sucker for anything with cilantro. Well, "with cilantro" is an understatement here! I could eat a bowl of that soup every day.

  11. Pam,
    It's funny how cilantro is such a love or hate thing with people.


    It's so easy and just so pretty. You definitely should try making it at home.

    Thanks for making my recipe. Your version looks gorgeous!

    Hmm. I've never had Bolivian chicken soup. Will have to try that some day.

    Broccoli too? I've never heard that one. I love pickled ginger and it doesn't taste like soap to me.

    Haha. Cilantro lover definitely!


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