Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano Recipe - Traditional Colombian Chicken Dish

Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano

Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano Recipe - Traditional Colombian Chicken Dish
Region / culture: Colombia | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes | Servings: 6


Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano
Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano

Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano is a traditional Colombian dish, particularly popular in the capital city of Bogotá. This hearty and comforting soup is a staple of Colombian cuisine, known for its rich flavors and unique combination of ingredients. The dish is a perfect representation of Colombian culture, blending indigenous and Spanish influences into a delicious culinary experience. It's not just a meal; it's a celebration of history, family, and tradition.


The origins of Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano can be traced back to the pre-Columbian era, with its roots deeply embedded in the indigenous cultures of the Andean region. The recipe has evolved over centuries, incorporating Spanish influences during the colonial period. The dish as we know it today is a result of this cultural fusion, showcasing the diversity of Colombian cuisine. Ajiaco is more than just a dish; it's a reflection of Colombia's rich history and its people's ability to blend different cultures into something uniquely their own.


How to prepare

  1. Heat the butter and sauté the chicken pieces with the onion.
  2. Add the thinly sliced potatoes and the stock.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 25 minutes.
  4. Add the new potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken pieces and new potatoes.
  6. Return stock to casserole.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Add the chicken and potatoes, corn, and capers.
  9. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  10. Add cream and cook.
  11. Serve in deep soup plates with avocado sauce on the side.


  • While the traditional Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano is beloved by many, there are several variations of the recipe that cater to different tastes and dietary restrictions. For a vegetarian version, substitute chicken with a mix of hearty vegetables like carrots, peas, and mushrooms. For those looking to reduce fat intake, use skinless chicken pieces and low-fat cream.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the perfect Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano, consider the following tips and tricks:

- Use a variety of potatoes to thicken the soup naturally and add depth to its texture.

- Gently simmer the chicken to keep it tender and flavorful.

- Fresh corn on the cob not only adds sweetness but also an authentic touch to the dish.

- Don't rush the cooking process. Ajiaco is best when flavors are allowed to meld together over time.

Serving Suggestions

Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano is traditionally served in deep soup plates, accompanied by avocado sauce on the side. For a complete meal, serve with white rice, a slice of avocado, and a dollop of sour cream. A side of capers and fresh cilantro can also enhance the flavors of the dish.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a successful Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano lies in its cooking techniques. Slow simmering allows the flavors to develop fully, while sautéing the chicken and onions in butter adds a depth of flavor that can't be achieved through boiling alone. The use of a variety of potatoes also contributes to the dish's unique texture, with each type of potato adding its own characteristic.

Ingredient Substitutions

For those unable to find traditional Colombian ingredients, several substitutions can be made without compromising the dish's integrity. For example, if guascas (a herb commonly used in Ajiaco) are not available, a combination of parsley and oregano can be used as an alternative. Similarly, any variety of potatoes can be used in place of the specific types mentioned in the recipe.

Make Ahead Tips

Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano can be made ahead of time, allowing the flavors to meld together and intensify. Simply prepare the soup as directed, then cool and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently on the stove before serving, adding a little extra stock or water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

Presentation Ideas

To present Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano in a visually appealing way, ladle the soup into deep, wide bowls. Garnish with a swirl of cream, a sprinkle of finely chopped cilantro, and a few capers. Serve with a side of avocado slices and a wedge of lime for an added touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano pairs beautifully with a crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied Chardonnay. The acidity of the wine complements the creaminess of the soup, creating a balanced and enjoyable dining experience. For non-alcoholic options, a sparkling water with lime or a light herbal tea would also pair well.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, transfer the desired amount to a pot and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If the soup has thickened too much upon storage, add a little chicken stock or water to reach the desired consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano contains approximately 500-600 calories. The exact calorie count can vary based on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes. This makes it a hearty meal option, providing ample energy for the day.


A serving of Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from the variety of potatoes used in the recipe. Potatoes are an excellent source of energy, providing the body with necessary fuel. The dish also contains a moderate amount of fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness.


The fats in Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano come mainly from the butter used in sautéing and the double cream added towards the end of cooking. While these ingredients contribute to the dish's rich flavor and creamy texture, they also add saturated fats. Opting for low-fat cream can reduce the overall fat content without compromising the taste significantly.


Chicken, the main ingredient in Ajiaco, is an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. This dish provides a generous amount of protein, making it a satisfying and muscle-friendly option for a meal.

Vitamins and minerals

Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano is packed with vitamins and minerals, thanks to its diverse ingredients. Potatoes and corn are good sources of vitamin C and B vitamins, while chicken contributes essential minerals like iron and zinc. Together, these nutrients support overall health and well-being.


Common allergens in Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano include dairy (butter and cream). Individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies should consider substituting these ingredients with lactose-free or plant-based alternatives.


Overall, Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano is a nutritious and balanced dish, offering a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a wholesome meal that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, with modifications available for those with specific dietary needs.


Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano is a rich and flavorful Colombian dish that offers a taste of the country's diverse culinary heritage. With its combination of tender chicken, hearty potatoes, and sweet corn, it's a comforting and satisfying meal perfect for any occasion. By following the tips and variations provided, you can enjoy this traditional dish in a way that suits your taste and dietary needs.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a cherished one. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in the bustling city of Bogotá, Colombia. I remember it like it was yesterday - the smells of the bustling street markets, the sounds of vendors calling out their wares, and the taste of the delicious Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano that my abuela used to make.

My abuela was a master in the kitchen, and she had a knack for creating the most delicious dishes from simple ingredients. She would spend hours in the kitchen, chopping, stirring, and simmering until the house was filled with the most incredible aromas. One day, as I watched her work her magic in the kitchen, I asked her how she had learned to make such wonderful dishes.

She smiled at me and told me the story of how she had learned to make Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano. It was a recipe that had been passed down through generations of our family, and each generation had added their own twist to make it truly unique. She told me that the recipe had originated in the colonial era, when Spanish settlers brought their culinary traditions to Colombia.

The key to a good Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano, she explained, was in the ingredients. The dish was made with tender chicken, corn on the cob, potatoes, and a variety of herbs and spices that gave it its distinctive flavor. But the real secret, she said, was in the use of a special type of potato called papas criollas, which were small, yellow potatoes that added a creamy texture to the soup.

As she spoke, my abuela began to gather the ingredients for the Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano. She showed me how to peel the potatoes, cut the corn on the cob into chunks, and season the chicken with a blend of spices that included cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. She then began to simmer everything together in a large pot, letting the flavors meld together until the soup was rich and fragrant.

I watched in awe as she worked, taking in every step of the process. I could see the love and care she put into each dish, and I knew that one day I wanted to be just like her - a master in the kitchen, creating delicious meals for my own family.

After several hours of simmering, the Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano was finally ready. My abuela ladled out bowls of the steaming soup, topping each one with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. As I took my first bite, I was transported back in time to the streets of Bogotá, surrounded by the sights, sounds, and smells of my homeland.

From that day on, I made it my mission to learn as much as I could from my abuela. I spent countless hours by her side in the kitchen, watching, listening, and learning the secrets of her culinary prowess. And as I grew older, I began to experiment with my own variations on the Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano, adding new ingredients and techniques to make it my own.

Now, as a grandmother myself, I take great pride in passing on the tradition of Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano to the next generation. I teach my grandchildren the same lessons that my abuela taught me - that cooking is an art form, a way to express love and creativity, and a way to connect with our heritage.

And as I watch my grandchildren slurp up their bowls of Ajiaco de Pollo Bogotano, I know that the tradition will live on for generations to come. The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time will always be a cherished one, a reminder of the love, passion, and tradition that has been passed down through our family for years.


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