El Mirador Caldo Xochitl
Submitted by: Anthony Aristar (Eastern Michigan University)
Story behind this Recipe:
This may be the best Chicken Soup ever made. We used to eat this at the El Mirador restaurant when we lived in San Antonio. "Xochitl" in Nahuatl means "flower", so you can see where the name of the soup comes from. This recipe comes from Julian Treviño, owner of El Mirador.
Ingredients:
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp oregano dried
4 cloves ground
2 1/2 quarts water
3 pounds fryer chicken
1 tbsp Glace de Poulet Gold® (concentrated chicken stock; use some other concentrated chicken stock if you don't have this)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin ground
1 tsp pepper ground
3 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh basil
2 cups zucchini (courgettes) diced
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper diced
1 1/2 cups celery diced
1 medium onion diced
1 17 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
1 recipe of rice, to follow
1 bunch green onion chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro (Chinese parsley) chopped
2 jalapeños (small not green peppers) chopped
2 tomatoes, fresh firm cubed
1 avocado cubed

For the rice:
3/4 cup long-grain rice
Lemon juice
2 tbsp oil
2 tomatoes ripe, chopped
2 medium green bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon Glace de Poulet Gold® (concentrated chicken stock)
1 cup hot water
2 tsp cumin ground
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
Units: US
Serves: 4
Cooking Instructions:
Mix garlic, oregano, and cloves to a paste. Bring water to boil in large pot. When water is boiling, add chicken, salt and pepper, and simmer for a few minutes. Skim off foam, and add garlic paste, Glace de Poulet Gold®, cumin, bay leaves, and basil. Let chicken simmer until cooked, about an hour. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Add zucchini (courgettes), carrots, bell pepper, onion, and beans (chickpeas) to pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Be very careful not to overcook the vegetables. You want the onion to be crisp tender. Meanwhile, remove skin and bones from chicken; shred meat. (This can be made with boneless, skinless chicken breast, in which case adjust cooking time to absolute minimum so as not to overcook the chicken and make it stringy) When vegetables are to the desired tenderness add meat to soup and heat through.

(WARNING: Eat the soup within an hour or two of making it, for the flavor given by the garlic-cloves-oregano paste passes off after an hour or two)

For the rice:
Cover rice with hot water. Add squeeze of lemon juice and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly in colander. Heat oil in large skillet with tight fitting lid. Add rice and sauté until golden. (note - this takes about 10 minutes and you really have to keep stirring to keep it from burning) Stir in tomatoes, peppers and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Add Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in water, and seasonings. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Do not remove lid while rice is cooking. Fluff with fork.

(You can use good white basmati if you don't want to bother with making the rice. But the rice adds something.)

For each serving:
Place 1/4 cup El rice in soup bowl. Pour soup around the rice and top with green onion, cilantro, chiles, tomatoes, and avocado.