Greetings, Mystic Meows!
In a word… Sancocho. It sounds like the ultimate cheer or testimony like, HALLELUJA! And in a way it really is! A thick and hearty soup/stew made with meat & root vegetables that has it’s origins in South America and the Caribbean. The recipe variations for this runs the gamut! Many a Puerto Rican, Colombian, Dominican, Cuban, and all the shades of caramel & brown have some rendition of this soup within the family recipe tree. You say the name, and those who know immediately go…. awwww! Sancocho! 😛 An Afro-Caribbean staple consisting of starchy vegetables such as yucca and plantains. Most people associate plantains as being from Puerto Rico, but in fact they’re native to Africa. I encourage you meows to try your hand at making this sometime, and for the sake of keeping things simple and easy, the version I stick to is the one I grew up with, made by my Colombian Grandmother & Aunt. I’m also half Puerto Rican so my recipe is a mash up of sorts, as I think all recipes are.
Shameless plug!! Of course I used my own brand of spices to make this dish! My Mystic Seasonings Adobo & Sazon are an absolute must when making a meal like this. It has all the flavors that we Latinos are accustomed to eating in our mama’s cooking! These two combined together always create pure magick in your food. You can find them on the home page of this blog! Moving on… 🤪
The base ingredients for my version of Sancocho are as follows…
Bone in/skin on Chicken thighs, plantains, yucca, yellow onions, garlic, sofrito or recaito, garlic, adobo, sazon, water, chicken, or, vegetable stock, carrots, corn on the cob cut into small pieces, and potatoes. I will do my best to provide a broken down recipe because honestly, I had to watch my Aunt and Grammy cook and pay CLOSE attention, since the family recipes weren’t written down… At least as far as I know. I make mine purely from memory. Both visual memory & flavor memory. The best advice I can give you is to think Chicken soup on steroids! Most of us are familiar with making it and its basically that with a whole lotta starchy goodness thrown in. Ok. Here we go!
Sancocho de Pollo
1 pound of bone in/skin on chicken thighs
1 small yellow onion, sliced or chopped into large pieces
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed
1 to 2 large raw green plantains, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 16oz. bag of frozen yucca pieces ( I’ll spare you the need to use actual yucca root. If you can find it, great, but if not the frozen kind is a great alternative without all of the work that comes with preparing the vegetable itself.)
2 large carrots, peeled and diced large
1 to 2 ears of corn on the cob, shucked, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces. If using frozen corn that’s already cut in half, just leave it as is 😉
1 to 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced large
3 tbls recaito ( sofrito ) I like this recipe from https://thenoshery.com/recaito-puerto-rican-sofrito/
3 tbls each of Adobo & Sazon spice blends. If you don’t have these on hand, salt & pepper will do along with a touch of cumin if you have it. Season with what you have and with your heart ❤️
Now, you’ll be needing a nice big pot to put all of this goodness in. A good pot with a somewhat non stick surface. The reason being that as the Sancocho cooks, the starch from the veggies will release and start to sink to the bottom of the pot as it goes along. so you’ll definitely need to stir things around to prevent it from scorching/burning.
I added some olive oil and a bit of butter ( my go to sautéing combo ) to my pot and began sweating the onions and garlic together for about 5 minutes. Add in about 1/2 cup of recaito/sofrito and cook for 2 minutes. I then added in the green plantains, and the yucca and stirred everything together, then added in the adobo & sazon, letting them sauté in the pot for another few minutes before adding in the chicken thighs. I added just enough water to cover the top of the chicken. I then covered the pot, set the heat to medium low, and let cook for about 45 minutes, stirring on occasion. Once the chicken, plantains & yucca are just about cooked, I added in the cut corn, carrots, and potatoes and let is all cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t forget to keep stirring! After about 20 minutes remove from the heat and let the Sancocho rest for about 30 minutes before serving! You’ll find that the starches have literally become part of the soup and the veggies may have broken down a bit, which is what you want. If you find that the soup broth is too thick, just add some more water or stock to it and adjust your seasonings.
Side Note : You can absolutely make this completely vegetarian/vegan! Instead of using chicken, beef, or pork, just use your favorite vegetables in addition to the yucca & plantains. You’ll be making a glorified veggie stock as it’s cooking and will be just as delicious! Just thinking about it made me think of adding pumpkin, chick peas, and sweet potatoes! YUM!
And there you have it, meows! I really hope you try this one out. As I said, you can add whatever meat & veggies your heart desires to this and trust me… There’s a TON of recipes for this out there, But start simple, trust your cooking intuition, and build from that. And don’t forget to check out my Mystic Seasonings brand of spices! I’ll be launching some new blends very soon! Until we eat again! Bone app the teeth and Happy Cooking! 😂🤪
Cheers, hugs, & meows!
xo Nikki 😻🖤✨🔮
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