What is chicken souse?
Chicken souse is a Bahamian soup that like other souses, is a clear broth where the meat and the vegetables are boiled down in the juice of fresh citrus.
Bahamians are known for their art of preparing excellent alcoholic beverages. It was therefore necessary for them to master the art of preparing a cure for hangover.
Souse is the cure! This is a soup that is generally present on all Bahamian weekend tables to appease the side effects of long nights of partying. Souse is composed of two main ingredients: lime and hot chili pepper. It is known that limes are great for hangovers but what about chili peppers? Bahamian grandmothers say “chilis in this soup can kill the devil.”
Grandmothers’ medicines or remedies are rarely tasty but I strongly recommend that you cook a good souse, it’s just delicious! OK, I am not suggesting that you get drunk in order to have a souse but only to make this soup that will keep you warm during the winter!
Bahamians eat souse (pronounced “sowse”) along with Johnny cake, which is similar to cornbread, but made with flour instead of cornmeal. You can serve souse with any warm homemade bread as well. Enjoy!
- 3 lb chicken wings (or other parts)
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed
- 2 tablespoons whole allspice
- 2 limes
- Dried red pepper (or fresh bird or goat pepper)
- Add the chicken to a large pot and barely cover with water. Add salt and the dried peppers. Boil chicken until it is cooked, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them in medium cubes. Place them in a bowl filled with water until they are ready to be used.
- Slice the onion.
- Cut the celery stalks into medium cubes.
- Remove the chicken from the heat.
- Throw away the broth and rinse the chicken thoroughly.
- Add the chicken in a large pot.
- Add the potatoes, onion, garlic, and whole allspice.
- Cover with water. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil. After about 20 minutes or when the potatoes are almost done, add the celery.
- Remove from heat when the potatoes are tender, another 5 minutes.
- Squeeze one lime over the soup.
- Slice the second lime and serve with the soup in individual bowls.