Escabeche is a type of chicken soup made with onions as the main part of the body. The one ingredient that makes this soup so special is distilled white vinegar added to the soup to make it tart. Allowing the onions to steep for just the right amount of time gives the soup a sweet and sour taste.

1 Whole Chicken
6-8 whole spice seeds
6 oregano leaves or 2 tsp crushed oregano
6 whole cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt and pepper to taste
4 plugs garlic
2-4 lbs. onion, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar, a little more or less depending on your taste

Belizean Escabeche Recipe


First rinse chicken with lime and water.

Season chicken with salt and pepper ( you can also add garlic, season all and parsley: do not add recado).

Pour in 6 cups of water or enough to cover the chicken and still have sufficient broth.   Then add all the ingredients  EXCEPT the vinegar, and onions. Once boiling has began, lower the heat so the chicken soup simmers gently.  Chicken takes about 30 mins to cook but broth taste better if it cooks for at least 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking. Put a kettle of water to boil. Peel and slice onions, pull apart the slices making loose onion rings, and place in a large bowl. When water is boiling pour this over the onions. Let it sit in this water for 3-5 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked take it out of broth and place in a bowl.  In a frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Fry the chicken for about 1 minute on each side.  

Return to the onions, drain them then add to the chicken broth.

Now add the vinegar. Start with 1 cup, stir it in and taste. If you want it a bit more sour add more vinegar, if it is too sour add 1 cup water or more to dilute it.    Allow broth with onions to cook for another 15 to 30 minutes. If you like crunchy onions then cook only for 15 minutes.  While this is simmering you may add the chicken or you can leave it out and add the chicken when serving.  

This dish is paired with corn tortillas.  To add spice jalapeño is favored for this dish.

Note:  Escabeche is perfect for hangovers

You may also like: