Caldo de Pollo Basico
From Rick Bayless's Mexico, One Plate at a Time
- 1 medium 3 1/2 pound chicken, preferably a good-tasting free-range one, cut into pieces (that's what I used) OR 3 pounds chicken wings or bones (such as necks or carcasses)
- I medium white onion, sliced
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 3 to 4 bay leaves (use the skinny Mexican bay laurel leaves for authentic flavor)
- 2 to 3 sprigs EACH fresh marjoram and thyme OR a generous 1/2 teaspoon EACH dried marjoram and thyme.
In a medium (6 quart) soup pot, combine the chicken, onion, garlic, bay, marjoram and thyme.
Add 4 quarts of water, set over medium-high heat and let come to a simmer. Skim off the grayish foam that rises during the first few minutes of simmering, then partially cover and reduce the heat to keep the liquid at a very gentle simmer.
If using a cut-up whole chicken, cook for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces, let cool until handleable and pull the meat from the bone (reserve it for enchiladas or the like); return the bones to the simmering broth for another hour.
If using chicken wings or bones, let simmer for 2 hours.
Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids.
Let the broth rest long enough for the fat to rise to the top, then spoon it off.
Covered and refrigerated, the broth will keep for several days in the refrigerator. It freezes beautifully.