Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Stock)

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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3-1/2 pounds chicken parts (including necks, backs and feet) or 1 whole chicken.
1 large white onion, studded with 1 whole clove
1/2 large or 1 small head garlic
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 whole dry chile de arbol or chile japones
3 black peppercorns
1 fresh sprig thyme or a pinch of dried thyme
1 whole allspice
Salt to taste, approximately 1 Tbsp.

In a heavy 6 quart stockpot, place the chicken backs, neck and feet in enough cold water to cover about 3 quarts. Add the onion, celery, garlic carrots, bay leaf, japones chile, pepper corns, thyme and allspice and bring to a boil.

Cook covered, over medium heat at least 15 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken parts of the whole chicken; continue to simmer, covered over low hear for 1/2 an hour or until juices run clear when dark meat is pierced with as fork. Add salt. Remove the chicken pieces and strain the stock. Discard the seasonings. Cool the stock and then skim the fat off the top.

Pull the chicken meat from the bones and use for enchiladas, tostados or empanadas. Hint: You can treat yourself to the carrots that were poached with the chickens. They are quite good! This stock freezes well and keeps up to six weeks in the freezer.

Recipes taken from “Seasons of My Heart, A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico” Susannah Trilling, Ballantine Books, November 1999 ISBN 0-345-42596-0