Belize’s Escabeche Soup – Learn How To Make It
Some variation of hearty, rustic soup is at the heart of practically every society around the world — and Belize is no exception. Escabeche can easily be made using cheap ingredients that are often already in the kitchen — and you can easily alter the recipe to use up any produce you have in your kitchen. But the heart of the dish is chicken and onions, and a little more effort in preparing both will bring added layers of flavor and richness to the dish.
- 1 whole uncooked chicken
- 2 – 4 whole jalapenos
- 2 – 4 lbs. white onions
- 6 – 8 whole allspice seeds
- 2 tsp crushed oregano
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp peppercorn
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon chicken consume
- 4 cloves garlic
- Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- Seasoned salt, to taste
- Olive oil, to taste
Step One: Creating the Soup Base
If you’ve never worked with a full chicken, there’s no need to be squeamish. Start by washing it thoroughly in lime juice and water, and trim off any fat or gristle you can see from the outside. From there, you’ll want to simply split the raw chicken in half and let it simmer in a large pot. There needs to be enough space for the water to cover the chicken entirely and still leave some room to prevent boiling over. Add the soup base ingredients, and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Step Two: Blanching the Onion
The flavor profile of the onions is as just as important to Belizean escabeche as the chicken is, and we’ll use a similar technique to prepare them in the form of blanching. By partially cooking the onions and then stopping the cooking process immediately, you’ll retain that nice healthy color while also softening the onions for the soup and maximizing the vitamin content. Simply slice the onions to your desired size — keeping in mind that larger slices will have a crisper consistency — and pour the boiling water over them. After five minutes of soaking, place them immediately in cold water and drain once they’ve cooled.
Step Three: Broiling the Chicken
While the boiling soup broth should have cooked the chicken all the way through, we’re going to move it to the broiler to give it a crispier texture. Transfer your chicken to a cookie sheet, draining off any excess fluid in the process. You can either drop both halves in fully or break it into smaller pieces depending on your preferences. Then — with the chicken skin-side up — use the basting sauce to baste the chicken. It should take between 10 and 15 minutes in the broiler for the skin to reach a golden brown consistency.
Step Four: Bringing it All Together
By the time you transfer the chicken to the broiler, your onions should be done blanching. Transfer them to the soup along with the vinegar and jalapenos. Allow 15 to 30 minutes for the onions to cook. You can expect the onions to be crunchier the shorter you cook them for. Serve immediately with the chicken from the broiler and corn tortillas.