Ajiaco Bogotano

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Ajiaco Bogotano is a Colombian national dish, a hearty and creamy chicken stew.

Ajiaco Bogotano

(Photo Attributed to Author: Mauricio Giraldo from Bogotá, Colombia)

Ajiaco Bogotano Recipe-


(serves 4)

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 lb. chicken breasts, bones in, skins removed
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped coarse
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped into ½” chunks
  • ½ lb. small yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ½ lb. small red potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • ½ lb. medium white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼” thick slices
  • 2 ears sweet corn, husked and cobs chopped into 2” to 3” long chunks
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, rough chopped
  • 2 tbsp. dried guascas, (an absolute must ingredient, this native Colombian herb imparts a distinctive flavor that no other spice or herb can approximate)
  • 3-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp. capers
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, black pepper and minced garlic, then rub the seasoning mixture all over and well into the meat of the chicken breasts. Place breasts in a large seal-tight plastic bag (or large bowl with a covering) and let the seasoning rub marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours—overnight is even better.
  2. In large, wide-bottomed cooking pot with a lid to it, (or Dutch oven if you have one), melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken, carrots, celery, and onion, and sauté several minutes, turning chicken breasts over, until lightly browned.
  3. Now add in 3 cups of the chicken or vegetable stock, and the small red and yellow quartered potatoes. Place the lid on the pot and cook over medium-high heat for 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out of the pot, using a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  5. Using a wooden cooking spoon, mash some of the softened potato quarters against the side of the pot—enough so that your Ajiaco Bogotano takes on a rich, starchy thickness, when you stir the mashed potatoes throughout the dish.
  6. Next, add in another ½ cup of stock, the corn cob chunks, cilantro, sliced white potatoes, and the guascas herb. Stir everything together well and replace the lid onto the pot.
  7. Take your chicken breasts, cut the meat away from the bones, slice the meat into long, ½” thick strips, and add all the meat back into the soup. Cover the pot again and cook until the white potato slices break apart easily when probed with a fork—about 30 minutes should do the trick.
  8. To serve, spoon 1 tsp. of capers into the bottom of each serving bowl, drizzle 2 tbsp. of heavy cream over the capers, then ladle the Ajiaco Bogotano in until the bowls are full. Serve hot.