Sancocho (WPLG, INC.)


1 3-4 pound chicken

2 quarts chicken stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups yellow onion, cut in 1-inch pieces

¾ cup green bell pepper, stemmed, cored and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1½ cups green tomatoes, cored and cut in 1-inch pieces

1½ cups green plantains, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

2 ears corn cleaned, each cob cut into 3-4 pieces

2 cups squash (anything works, we usually use butternut or calabaza), cut in 1-inch pieces

1½ cups yucca, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

pinch saffron steeped in 1 tablespoon water

salt and pepper, to taste

½ bunch cilantro, chopped fine

1 teaspoon jalapeno chopped fine (with seeds)

Rinse your chicken and place in a large pot. Add the 2 quarts of chicken stock. If the stock doesn’t cover the chicken by about 2 inches, add water. Add a pinch of salt. If you have any vegetable scraps you can throw them in. Cover the pot, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and poach the chicken on a slow but steady simmer until cooked through, about 60-80 minutes. Occasionally skim off any scum that rinses to the top as you poach the chicken.

Once the chicken is cooked through, carefully remove to a plate or tray to cool. Strain the chicken stock through a fine mesh strainer and set aside for the soup. If needed, add enough water to give you 2 quarts of liquid. Allow the chicken to cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and discard. Shred the meat and discard the bones.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, green peppers and garlic, cook until translucent. The vegetables should be soft but not have any color. Add the green tomatoes, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, green plantains, corn, squash, yuca, steeped saffron and its liquid. Season with a generous pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Puree 2 cups of the broth with some of the vegetables, half of the chopped cilantro and the jalapenos until smooth. Add the pureed mixture back into the soup. Stir in the remaining cilantro and the pulled chicken meat. Simmer the soup for a few minutes to marry the flavors. Taste for seasoning.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Miami, of Jewish and Latinx descent, Chef Michelle “Michy” Bernstein is the host of Local10’s Emmy-Award winning SoFlo TASTE and a fixture in the culinary world.