Aguadito de Pollo is Peruvian chicken soup; the broth is made up of spices, cilantro and chicken broth. The chicken is cooked with rice making it best soup if you’re feeling under the weather.
This soup was a childhood staple in my house. I feel like every type of cuisine around the world has its own version of chicken soup. They’re all meant to heal, warm and nourish you when you have the sniffles, are hungover, feel under the weather or when you’re just really cold.
What is Aguadito de Pollo?
Aguadito is a classic Peruvian chicken soup that is so comforting and delicious. My favorite part is that it’s super herbaceous, fragrant and comforting all at the same time. The spicy cilantro broth is simmered with chicken and rice. A squeeze of lime is a must just before serving. It’s the perfect soup to make if you’re feeling a bit under the weather.
How to Make Aguadito de Pollo?
There were so many chilly winter days when I would come home and my mom would be in front of the television picking the leaves off of the cilantro leaves. A lot of times she would ask us to help to make the process go faster. We’d sit there with her and pick the leaves off of the cilantro as she asked how our day went. It’s feels almost like folding laundry but way less annoying. So, here’s how to make it!
- Make the broth. This is easy because it happens all in a blender. Add the cilantro, pepper, spices and chicken broth to the blender and mix it all up.
- Sear the chicken and then remove it from the pot.
- Then, add the onion and red bell pepper. And cook it until it’s softened.
- Pour the cilantro mixture back in.
- Next, add the chicken, the rest of the chicken broth and raw rice.
- And then bring it to a simmer. You want to cook it until your whole house is fragrant, the chicken and rice is cooked. Salt it to taste.
- Lastly, you serve it with wedges of lime.
Aguadito de Pollo Recipe (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
- 1 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, from 1 bunch, divided
- 1 serrano pepper (or you could use aji amarillo), halved and de-seeded
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 cups chicken broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chicken thighs, skin-on and bone-in
- 2 chicken drumsticks, skin-on and bone-in
- 1/2 yellow onion or frozen peas (thawed), diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup white rice or brown rice, if using brown rice see note below!
- 1 ear of corn, cut off the cob or 1/3 cup frozen corn
- Kosher salt to taste
- 3 limes, cut into wedges
- Add 1 cup cilantro leaves, serrano pepper, garlic cloves and 1/4 cup of chicken broth to a blender. Blend until mixture is pureed. Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, carefully add chicken thighs and drumsticks, skin-side down. Cook on first side for 4-5 minutes, and until skin is crisp and slightly browned. Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
- If the chicken absorbed all of the oil, add a teaspoon of olive oil. If it released too much fat, pour it out, reserving about a teaspoon. Add yellow onion and cook until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add red bell pepper and ground cumin, allowing to cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add the rice and cilantro liquid mixture to the pot and mix, being sure to completely coat the rice. Gently add the chicken back to the pot and cover with about 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth. The broth should almost cover the chicken. Bring the soup to a simmer and then immediately turn the heat down to medium low. Cover the pot and cook for 20-30 minutes, and until rice is fully cooked.
- Add the remaining 1/2 cup cilantro leaves to the blender and 1/4 cup chicken broth. Just before serving, add the mixture to the soup. This will give it a bright green color.
- When you’re ready to serve, add salt to taste. This will all depend on how salty your chicken broth was. I needed to add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Mix in corn right before serving.
- Add a few cilantro leaves to each bowl of soup, along with a few wedges of lime. It’s important.
If you make this Aguadito de Pollo, let me know on Instagram!