When I initially researched the national dish of Belize, a familiar phrase emerged – Rice and beans. This inexpensive meal is a staple throughout the world, and I have nothing against it. However, I decided to dig a little deeper, just in case something more interesting was waiting to be found. Eureka! Escabeche.
One of my favorite things to make (and eat) is soup. Spencer and I used to eat it all the time in the chillier Toledo weather, but it’s a different lifestyle in the Tucson summer heat. I was thrilled when I found this recipe, and quickly overruled the rice and beans.
The homemade chicken broth, seasoned with whole seeds of all-spice, cumin, peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, and oregano leaves, was flavorful, light, and tasty. Here is one little tip: I didn’t add the full amount of vinegar the recipe instructed. If I would change anything, I’d add even less than I did. The bite of the vinegar can overshadow flavors of the broth.
I also prepped the whole chicken a little differently than the recipe called for (I used the same techniques done for Singapore). The recipe recommends cleaning the chicken with lemon juice, but I scrubbed sea salt into the skin, then rinsed with water. Also, instead of adding a bouillon cube or powder high in sodium, I seasoned the chicken myself, all over, with salt before putting it into the pot.
The ingredients in the broth are simple. Add rings of onion and slices of jalapeño to the broth. Serve with a side of warmed corn tortillas, and add all the chicken you want. I love this dish because of the beautiful pairing of visual simplicity and complex flavor. It makes the dish all the more surprising and worthwhile.
- whole chicken
- all-spice seeds
- cumin seeds
- cinnamon stick
- peppercorn seeds
- corn tortillas
S: “I do like the idea of an onion soup. A little too much vinegar for my taste.”
T: “Light, tasty broth. I cooked the whole chicken properly this time – yay! – tender and delicious.”
- The capital of Belize is Belmopan
- The official language is English
- Belize is rich in wild life and habitats, including the diverse Belize Barrier Reef System, home to the Great Blue Hole
- Many Mayan Ruins exist there, and, along with the biodiversity, make Belize a tourist destination
- Due to its location, Belize is influenced by both Latin and Caribbean culture