Sopa de pollo

Inspired by La Carta de Oaxaca, and with help from Pedro Perez-Zamudio

I’ve made this with homemade chicken broth, and it was great, but it’s also great with a good not-homemade chicken broth, like Better Than Bouillon.  No shame in that. (I use Better Than Bouillon’s organic line.)  Also, all quantities here are approximate.  If you want more carrots or zucchini, go for it, and feel free to try other vegetables, too. Maybe fennel? Onion?

Roughly 3 pounds (1.4 kg) chicken parts
2 quarts (roughly 2 liters) chicken broth, or enough to cover the chicken in the pot
4 whole garlic cloves, smashed under the side of a knife
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
4 small or 2 medium zucchini, cut into 2-inch batons
1 chayote, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks (optional; I leave this out for convenience reasons)
½ bunch cilantro sprigs, bundled with twine if you want
Leaves from a few mint sprigs
Kosher salt, to taste

Put the chicken and broth in a Dutch oven or other 5-quart pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim away any foam that rises to the surface. Adjust heat to a very gentle simmer, and then add garlic, carrots, zucchini, chayote (if using), herbs, and a good pinch of salt. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are meltingly tender. Remove the chicken pieces, allow to cool as needed, and then coarsely shred the meat.  Return the meat to the pot, taste for salt, and serve.

Yield: 6 servings