Colombian Comfort Food: Sancocho de Gallina

Sancocho de Gallina

Recipe and photos contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Carolyn Swaney

Sancocho de Gallina is an extremely flavorful, comforting chicken soup-meets-stew, that is hearty and delicious. A myriad of Colombian staples, potatoes, corn, yuca and chicken dominate your bowl and fill you up, while the gorgeous smells of this tasty soup waft through your kitchen.

This recipe was adapted from the fabulous Erica at, taking the commonly eaten sancocho and paring it down to chicken only… It is often made with a variety of meats, however chicken is the one that feels the most cozy to me. I used chicken pieces to please my crowd, going heavy on legs and breasts, but whole, cut up chicken is more typical. Since the pot sits on the stove for a while, it is easy to make, with minimal chopping and peeling, so whip up a pot and enjoy!


Yields 6 servings


3 ears fresh corn, cut into 3 pieces
12 cups of water
½ cup aliños (recipe follows)
3 chicken breasts and 3-4 chicken legs or thighs, skin removed
1 teaspoon salt
2 green plantains, peeled and cut crosswise into 2inch pieces
2 chicken bouillon cubes
6 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1 pound frozen yuca, thawed and cut into big pieces
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon ground pepper


1. In a large pot, place the chicken, corn, aliños, chicken bouillon, salt green plantain and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, yuca and pepper and continue cooking for 30 more minutes or until the yuca and potatoes are fork tender. Stir in the cilantro.

3. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in large soup bowls, dividing the chicken and vegetables evenly, and ladeling the broth over the top. Add a little extra cilantro to garnish.


This blend of vegetables is the Colombian answer to the Holy Trinity, a sofrito, or a mirepoix. The addition of Sazón Goya gives that extra “something” and imparts beautiful color. Mix all of the ingredients in a blender and puree. Extra aliño will keep for about a month in your fridge. Add it as a base to sauces, rice dishes or in the background of stews for great added flavor.

Yields about 2½ cups


½ medium green pepper, chopped
½ medium red pepper, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1 cup water
½ tablespoon sazón Goya with azafrán (saffron)


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