Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
I learned about sancocho in the Dominican Republic, so although there are also Puerto Rican and Colombian sancochos, this is a modified Dominican sancocho. According to the history, the traditonal sancocho came to the Caribbean at the time of colonization from the Canary Islands, and the number 7 of the very fancy and ideal sancocho is the number of the Canary Islands. Some people will insist that a real sancocho has to have 7 kinds of meat,, others have let it down to 5. The minimum is 3, beef, chicken and pork, though adding goat meat is great. A sancocho is considered special and for holidays and company. It does take a lot of time to do, and because of the number of ingredients it is impossible to make just a little bit. I have modified the recipe a bit, using beef broth instead of stew beef, and a small chorizo instead of a lot of pork. Traditionalists raise an eyebrow at this,, but.. then nod a reserved approval. Another must is to use the roots that are native to the area, such as yuca, malanga/ yautia, nyame, and, from among these I have chosen my favorites. Malanga coco has little purple flecks in the flesh; yuca long and carrot shaped with a brown peel; calabaza is a pumpkin like squash; chayote is a light green pear-shaped kind of squash. Usually a green plantain is used, but I like mine to ripen just a bit to having a hint of yellow. A sour liquid is added called naranja agria, or sour orange, and this helps food in the tropics to be keep. Meats are marinated in lemon juice. Since naranja agria is hard to find in my area, then some use alcaparrado, green olives and capers and some of the liquid from the bottle, or a bit of lemon juice can be used. Cilantro is considered an essential, although I don't really like cilantro and prefer something called recao, or cilantro ancho, which is a long leaf. Parsley has a kind of different flavor and so is not considered a good substitute for cilantro. To peel the malanga, yuca and calabaza we need a good knife and it is done by placing the object on a cutting board and then cutting down to the board,, not by holding in the hand and using a paring knife. The list of ingredients is very flexible in quantity, so the quantity that I put down is not meant to be mandatory but to just get an idea. The computer does not recognize malanga coco, or sazon packets, and put pumpkin and not calabaza. I've heard that many native foods from outside North America and Europe have not been entered into the computer. I hope Recipezaar adds them in. I'm having a bit of a problem with estimating the total amount for the nutritional content. I put 1 - 2 gallons because it is that flexible, but the computer put it at 1 gallon. I'm going to try to put 1 1/2 gallons because the computer did not add in a few of the ingredients which are substantial. I'm going to omit the 'salt & pepper' because the bouillion cubes add salt.
- 1 -2 lb chicken thigh, and leg, cut into large bite size pieces, include the pieces with bone
- 2 (15 ounce) cans beef broth
- 3 1⁄2 ounces chorizo sausage (if there is no chorizo then I would use a bit of pepperoni)
- 1 malanga, medium size (coco)
- 1 yucca root, medium size, cut into 1-inch cubes, 'wire' removed 1/4 pumpkin squash, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 green plantain, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 chayotes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 -4 corn on the cob, cut into quarters
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
- 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cilantro
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 teaspoon alcaparrado or 1 teaspoon capers or 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
- Wash and Cut up the chicken pieces into large bite size pieces. If you usually sear chicken before putting it in water to cook, then do so. Otherwise just put the chicken in a saucepan of water and bring it to a boil, and then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 1/2 hour while you peel and cut the roots.
- Peel and cut the malanga, yucca, plantain, chayote, and potato into large bite sized pieces. Peel and cut the calabaza or pumpkin type squash into 2 or 3x1" lengths. Cut the corn on the cob into 4 pieces each. Cut and chop garlic and onion. Cut celery into 1/2" slices crosswise. Celery leaves are optional.
- Skim off the stuff from the chicken broth. Then transfer chicken and broth to a large pot. Slice the chorizo crosswise into 1/2" rounds. Add the chorizo and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium.
- Add the larger roots and veggies, more water to cover, and then the smaller onion, garlic and celery, and then the seasonings. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Continue to simmer until the potatoes test done by putting a fork through.
- Turn the heat off and serve,, one piece of corn cob with each serving.