Mexican Chicken Rice Soup

This is the recipe for the chicken rice soup served at Los Barrios Restaurant in San Antonio. We made this soup, with a few alterations, and found it to be delicious. It cooks in about an hour, and feeds a whole family. You can buy whole chickens already cut up, wrapped and for sale at most supermarkets. Or buy the whole bird and cut it up yourself
  • One 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces (or the equivalent weight of your favorite pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 ripe plum (roma) tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, tough stems removed, finely chopped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Black pepper to taste
With kitchen shears or a sharp knife, remove the wing tips from the chicken wings. Also cut away and discard loose chicken skin and fat deposits.

Put the chicken in a large stockpot and add water to cover by about 3 inches. Add the salt, garlic and rice. Bring to a boil. Boil for 30 minutes, skimming off any scum that forms on the top.

Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Stir in the onion, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and cilantro. Add more water if needed. As chicken cooks and falls off the bones, remove the bones and discard.

Ladle into bowls and squeeze a lemon wedge into each. Garnish with additional lemon wedges, cilantro and chopped onion. Serve with warm corn tortillas and dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

Makes 8 generous servings.

Prep time: 40 minutes; Cooking time: 50 minutes; Total time: 1 hours 30 minutes

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