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Colombian Potato Soup with Chicken, Corn and Capers (Ajiáco)
1¾ hours 30 minutes active
Mariana Velásquez, food stylist and author of “Colombiana,” says the unique soup called ajiáco is much loved in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as in the surrounding areas. The dish holds special cultural significance because of its pre-Hispanic origins. We made a few adaptations to Velásquez’s recipe, namely adding cut corn kernels in addition to sections of corn on the cob, one of the defining ingredients of the rustic soup. Ajiáco made the traditional way requires three varieties of potatoes. We use varieties widely available in the U.S.—russets, which break down with cooking and lend the broth creaminess, Yukon Golds for their color and buttery flavor, and waxy potatoes, added near the end of cooking, that retain their dense, firm texture. Guascas is an herb used to season ajiáco, but it’s difficult to come by in the U.S. If you can find it, by all means, use it; otherwise, Velásquez suggests substituting an equal amount of chopped celery leaves. Offer lots of napkins at the table, as you’ll need your fingers as well as a spoon to enjoy this meal in a bowl.
pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, skin removed and discarded
pound russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds