Monday, April 11, 2011

Ajiaco Santafereño - Colombian Recipe

Colombian Typical Meals
Type: Colombian food (adapted for overseas cooking)
Prep Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 2.5 - 3 hours
Servings: 7
Picture by CBU
  • 3 Yellow or White Corn on the cob
  • 4 Chicken Breasts (bone and skin removed)
  • 4 Large Potatoes (white, red and yellow or a combination depending on the ones available)
  • 4 thick Spring onions or a full bunch (depending on the thickness)
  • 3/4 of a bunch of Coriander 
  • 3 cup of chicken stock or 1-2 chicken stock cube (please use the best possible stock at hand)
  • 1 Knorr or Maggi Ajiaco Soup packet (only available in Colombia - I buy as much as I can every time I travel to Colombia)
  • Single or Double Cream
  • Capers (chopped coarsely)
  • Avocado
  • Salted White Rice
Place the chicken stock and enough water to complete 1 liter of liquid to boil in a large cooking pot and put it on high heat while you prep the potatoes and the corn. Peel the potatoes, cut two of them in half and then chopped coarsely, then thickly grate the other two. Place all the potatoes, once prepared, in the pot. Now peel the leaves and strings out of the corn and cut in 2 or 3 pieces, depending on the portion sizes you prefer, and place in the pot (bear in mind you have to be careful when doing this as you can easily get hurt by a sliding knife. I cut them by placing the cob at the tip of the knife and then pressing the knife down while rolling the cob under, by the time the cob reaches the knife handle it's usually split in 2!). Chop the coriander and the Spring onion finely and proceed to place 3/4 of the total into the pot, the rest you can reserve for adding to the pot shortly before serving. 

Allow the pot to boil for about 30 min, and then place into the pot the chicken breasts whole. Lower the heat to medium and continue to boil, stirring occasionally (every few minutes) until the soup starts to take consistency and the chicken is tender, this should take from 1.5 to 2 hours. Take out the chicken from the boiling soup and it should be so tender that you hardly need to slice it to get slim strips, slice and place back in the pot. Add the remainder of the onion and coriander. At this stage, open the Ajiaco Soup packet (brought from Colombia) and mix into 1 cup of cold water), once dissolved stir into the soup and allow to simmer for about 10 min, stirring frequently. Your Ajiaco style soup is ready!!! Serve on a nice soup dish or bowl with a dollop of cream and a sprinkle of capers, accompanied by a serving of white rice and a nice big slice of ripe Avocado just sprinkled with Salt. Alternatively, place the capers and cream on the table so your guests can help themselves to their liking. 

Note: Please note that this is a Colombian Soup and the original recipe has been heavily adapted so that you can manage to pull it off while living in another country as this soup is originally made with several varieties of potato and a herb called "guasca" which are difficult to find even in neighboring countries. Hence, I buy the packet soup to give the base soup that unmistakable Ajiaco flavor. You'll be able to find these soup packets depending on where you live, if in the US, Spain or Latin American countries, you're almost sure to have a "Colombian" grocery store around; if in South Africa, I don't buy other than for my own use, but could make sure to include some extra ones for you in my next trip! 

Love, iSa


  1. Isa, really nice I needed the recipy in Eneglish :).
    Isa please help me with one recipe for dinner, I have people at home, I need something quick for more than 8, cheap, and easy to make. any suggestions???

  2. Hi Everyone, Got an email from John in Texas regarding this recipe, which he was happy for me to share:


    Due to the wonders of the internet I found your April blog with the Colombian recipe for Ajiaco Santafereño. Thank you so much. I purchased a couple packets of the Maggi mix when I was in Bogota on business and fell in love with the various soups there. However, I had never attempted to use them but with the approaching Autumn here in Houston, Texas I got the urge to do so. I am excited to try your version which will come much closer to the authenic soups than merely using the packets.

    Do you have a similar adapted recie using the Maggi Ajiaco packets? I've searched but haven't yet found anything.

    Thanks again,

  3. ...And then he tried it!...

    "Hello Isa,

    I'm literally still sitting at the table following my first attempt at duplicating the great Colombian dish. Thanks to your helpful recipe it was delicious. I can't imagine the mix without the other ingredients would have been very good!



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