Chicken Sancocho | Cook for Your Life

Chicken Sancocho

Rated 4.9 out of 5
4.9 out of 5 stars (based on 7 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 35 min prep
Clock Icon for Prep Time 90 min total
Person Icon for Serving Size 10 servings

Sancocho is a beautiful, deliciously festive dish. Traditionally it is made with up to 7 different meats and quantities of starchy vegetables, but not here. Although this recipe maybe lighter in calories, it gives up...


    1 whole chicken, skin and solid fat removed.

    4 chicken feet, toe ends clipped

    12 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed, divided,

    ¼ cup of bitter orange juice

    1½ teaspoons dried oregano

    1 tablespoon salt

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 large yellow onion, diced

    6 sweet ajicito peppers, cut into small dice (see Ann’s Tips)

    12 leaves of culantro, divided (see Ann’s Tips)

    10 cups of water or low sodium stock

    1 cup of green plantain cut into 1-inch-dice

    1 cup of yellow yautia (eddoes) cut into 1-inch-dice

    1 cup yucca cut into 1-inch-dice

    1 cup of carrots cut into 1-inch-long pieces

    1 cup of turnip cut into 1-inch dice

    4 cups kabocha cut into 1inch dice

    1 cup of grated green plantain

    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    1 tablespoon of homemade sazon

    ½ cup finely chopped coriander

    2 sliced ​​avocados

Missing an Ingredient?
Visit our ingredient substitution guide ›

Nutrition Facts


595 cals


29 g

Saturated Fat

8 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

6 g

Monounsaturated Fat

13 g


46 g


15 g


6 g


39 g


1183 mg


  1. Cut the chicken into 10 pieces. Set aside in a baking dish.
  2. Make the marinade: In a small bowl, mix together 6 cloves of the garlic and the bitter orange juice. Pour over the chicken, both pieces and feet. Mix well to coat. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile in a mortar, mash the remaining 6 cloves of the garlic with the oregano and salt until it forms a paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over hot-medium heat. Add the chicken and the marinade. Cook until the chicken turns white and opaque. Set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low flame. Add onions, ajicitos, and half of the garlic-oregano paste. Sweat the vegetables for 7 minutes or until the onions are transparent and starting to color. Add chicken and 8 leaves of the culantro. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce the flame to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the diced plantain and cook for 10 minutes. Add the yautía, the yucca, the carrots, and the turnips. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the pumpkin and the remaining 4 culantro leaves. Cook for 15 minutes more. It should be just soft enough to mash against the side of the pan.
  7. For the traditional presentation: Remove half of the vegetables from the sancocho with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard the culantro leaves.
  8. Stir the grated green plantain into the soup. Cook for 5 minutes. Return the vegetables to the pot and remove the soup from the stove. Add the apple cider vinegar and remaining garlic paste. Add the homemade ‘sazon’. If necessary, add more to taste. Let the soup sit 15 minutes for the flavors to develop. Taste for salt. Ladle chicken vegetables and broth into soup plates. Serve sprinkled with the chopped cilantro, and avocado slices on the side.

Chef Tips

Ajicito peppers look like pale green habaneros, but are small sweet with little or no heat. Find them in Dominican and Puerto Rican groceries, but if that’s not an option, a couple of small Italian frying peppers or cubanelle peppers make a great substitute.

Spear shaped culantro or recao leaves are from the same family as cilantro, and are great used whole to flavor soups and stews. Whole branches of cilantro can be used instead, 1 cilantro for 2 culantro leaves, and if the cilantro roots are still attached, keep them on as they have a lot of flavor.

And in the summertime, try adding chunks of fresh corn cob to the soup in step 8.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society