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SANCOCHO – CHICKEN SOUP

February 13, 2012 7:57 pm 0 comments

Sancocho – Chicken soup is an excellent, nourishing and warming dish to the palate. Made combined with simple ingredients like few chicken pieces, onion, cilantro, potato, yucca and corn, spiced with green pepper and flavored with oregano and salt. A healthy soup that hardly takes few minutes for cooking and goes well with steamed rice on the side.

Soups, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian are amazingly nourishing, healthy appetizers that linger into our taste buds with its gentle and delicate flavors. They are generally served warm with small succulent pieces of meat, vegetable and stock seasoned with various types of spices or aromatic herbs. Traditionally, soups are classified into two main groups; Clear soup and thick soups. Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two; however, soups generally have more liquid than stews. Apart from the meat, many soups also include a variety of veggies like carrots, potatoes, French beans, peas, corns, yucca etc.

Sancocho – Chicken soup is one of my favorites with the addition of yucca pieces. Yucca is also called as cassava or manioc. Yucca also great if made as chips, French fries or mashed. It contains more flavor than the average potato and gives a nice and buttery texture to the dish. Cooking the yucca is also simple. All recipes involve peeling and coring the yucca. You need to take off the long stringy fibers in the middle or else they would stay hard and annoying after cooking.

The yucca or cassava must be cooked properly to detoxify it before it is eaten. It can be cooked in various ways. The soft-boiled root has a delicate flavor and can be replaced with boiled potatoes in many uses: as an accompaniment for meat dishes, or made into purées, dumplings, soups, stews, gravies, etc. Deep fried (after boiling or steaming), it can replace fried potatoes, with a distinctive flavor. Yucca, also known as Soap weed, Spanish bayonet, and other popular names, grows in deserts throughout the world. All of the non-woody parts of most yuccas are edible, and the blooms in particular are quite tasty, besides making an interesting addition to salads.

Dried Oregano leaves are another fantastic magical herb used in this dish. It is an important culinary herb used for the flavors of its leaves, which is more flavorful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm, pungent and slightly bitter taste that can vary in intensity. Good quality oregano may be strong enough almost to numb the tongue, but the cultivars adapted to colder climates often have a lesser flavor. This herb is prominently used as the staple herb in Italian – American cuisines. It is frequently used with roasted, fried or grilled vegetables, meat and fish. Unlike most Italian herbs, oregano combines well with spicy foods, which are popular in southern Italy. It is less commonly used in the north of the country, as marjoram generally is preferred.

To prepare this delectable and tasty Sancocho – Chicken soup, firstly put in the chicken pieces into a stock pot with 2 quarts of water. Add chopped onions, cilantro, dried oregano leaves and green peppers. Cook well for about an hour. Add salt to taste. Add potatoes, yucca pieces and cook till tender. Add corn at the last just 15 minutes of cooking before the dish is done as it gets cooked fast. Serve with steamed rice on the side.

Cassava is a highly productive crop in terms of food calories produced. Cassava root is essentially a carbohydrate source. However, the roots are rich in calcium and vitamin C and contain a nutritionally significant quantity of thiamine, riboflavin and nicotinic acid. Cassava starch contains 70 percent amylopectin and 20 percent amylose. Cooked cassava starch has a digestibility of over 75 percent.

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