Sancocho de Gallina

Sancocho de Gallina

Sancocho de Gallina is a typical, traditional, hearty soup. It has many variations throughout Latin America and some people trace its origin back to Spain.  Usually this is a chicken soup but it can be made with other meats, notably fish. One of my favourite variations is ”trifasic” which has a pork vertebra, a slice of beef (morrillo) and chicken. The lead photo is ”trifasic”.

The recipe below can be altered to taste. Some sancochos have maize, some carrots almost always they have yucca, potatoes and platano – plantain. We like to top it off with freshly chopped cilantro.

Take a large chicken and cut it into pieces – depending on how many people you are serving.

  • 1/2 a white onion  – chopped
  • 2 green onions
  • one tomato – peeled and chopped

Some people marinate the chicken with the onions and tomato for two hours before prep. Otherwise put the chicken, tomato and onions in a pot of water and cook up to one hour depending on the quantity of your chicken. One the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove the onions and throw them out. Set the chicken aside and keep the stock.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the remaining ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil or 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • 8 green onions chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup of tomatoes peeled and chopped finely
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • seasoning – to taste – salt, pepper and possibly cumin
  • 2 ears of corn/maize/mazorca cut into 5 cm sections – really whatever thickness you prefer
  • 2 green plantains cut into 5 cm sections
  • 2 yuccas, peeled and cut into 5 cm sections
  • 8 small potatoes or 4 larger ones cut into 5 cm sections
  • 2 to 3 chicken bouilon, if your chick stock seems a bit flavourless.

In a frying pan over a low to medium heat add your butter or olive oil, the onion, tomato and garlic cloves. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until it is paste-like. Some people add the chicken and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Other recipes take the chicken stock, add the ”hogao” (the sauce/paste) plus the chicken, the plantain  and the corn. Timing varies greatly in recipes but once your corn is cooked, remove it and add the potatoes and yucca and condiments. Some recipes, save the chicken and ”hogao” until the vegetables are cooked, and then add them at the end to simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Whatever method you use make certain your veggies are soft. Yucca is a very hard vegetable and often in restaurants its centre is hard and white as it has not been cooked sufficiently.