Sancocho Valle Caucano (Chicken Casserole)

This recipe is from Ecuador.



  • 1 (3 pound) chicken, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 cups cold water
  • 2 green plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3 sprigs fresh coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh yucca, peeled and cut lengthwise into1/3-inch wide, 1/3-inch thick and 1 1/2-inches long
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric


  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped and seeded fresh hot red chile
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced


  1. In a heavy 4- to 5-quart flameproof casserole, combine the chicken, chopped onions, coriander sprigs, salt, black pepper and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam and scum that will rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and cover the casserole. Simmer the chicken for 30 minutes or until it is tender, but not falling apart.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover it with foil to keep it warm.
  3. Drop the plantains and yuca into the stock remaining in the casserole; cover and cook over moderate heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the squash and turmeric; cover and cook for 20 minutes longer.
  5. Remove the coriander sprigs. Return the chicken to the casserole and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or just enough to heat it through.
  6. To make the sauce, pour the vinegar, water, olive oil, salt and sugar into a small bowl. Beat vigorously with a whisk or fork until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Stir in the chile and fresh chopped coriander and taste for seasoning.
  7. Serve the soup in large bowls, each topped with a few slices of avocado. Pass the sauce separately to be added at each diner's discretion.

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