Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chicken Consume

One of the great joys that I have discovered in our travels in Mexico has been chicken consume. It's on most menus and sounds simple, but is consistently the best "chicken soup" I have ever had. While it is consistently good, each restaura...nt has its own variant.

Some use rice, some use pasta and the vegetables can vary a bit, depending on season and locale. It is almost always served with a side of lime (as is everything), chopped jalapeno's and onion and tortilla chips are common. There has often been one ingredient that I had not previously tasted and that was a greenish, potato-like vegetable.

While shopping the other day, I noticed a bin of "chayote" which is a local vegetable that looked like it was a good candidate for the missing ingredient and so I picked it up with the intent of trying my own had at this dish. Alicia and I just had a short bout with our first cold in years and it seemed like the perfect thing to cook up.

I mainly used ingredients on hand in our small little kitchen, including some onion, lime, garlic, avocado, celery, Serrano and red bell pepper and some cilantro. Plus the Chayote and chicken of course. Salt and pepper to taste. Cumin, if you got em.

Normally, I would make my own consume (made from bones, as opposed to a stock, which tends to have meet parts and vegies), but we do not have a large stock pot and no need to make a ton of food to last the week like I often did, back in Ojai, when I was cooking for a whole week at a time or for guests. Most of the markets here have a large Knorr soup and consume section (no, not the cubes; these are big packets) and so I settled for a simple chicken and pasta base.

I think it turned out great and was just the sort of thing we needed to relax at home on this Mexican holiday. It's Constitution Day and this certainly improved mine, if you'll pardon the pun.

The chayote* is now one of my favorite vegies.


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