- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz each)
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 2 ears corn, shucked
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 3 oz)
- 1 large white onion
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, seeded and sliced
- 1 qt low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/3 cup diced fresh tomato
- Grated zest of 1/2 lime
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice, plus more for serving
- Salsa, for serving
- Diced avocado, for serving
- Drained, brined capers (optional)
- Season chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon of the salt and let them stand while you prepare remaining ingredients.
- Using a sturdy knife, cut ears of corn into 1 1/2 inch-thick rounds. Divide cilantro into stems and leaves; coarsely chop both, but keep them separate.
- Slice two-thirds of the onion into thick rounds, and finely dice the remainder (you should have about 1/2 cup diced).
- Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion to hot dry skillet and cook without moving
- until undersides are well browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip onions over and repeat on other side.
- Stir cilantro stems, oregano, garlic, bay leaf, and jalapeño into onions. Pour in stock and 1 cup water, and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a simmer. Then lower heat and cook gently for 15 minutes.
- Lower chicken into poaching mixture. Cover skillet and cook on low heat until chicken is no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes. Add corn pieces during last 3 minutes of cooking.
- While chicken cooks, combine reserved diced onion, chopped cilantro leaves, tomato, lime zest and juice, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
- Transfer chicken and corn from broth to a cutting board. Strain hot broth into soup bowls; discard aromatics. Slice chicken and divide it among bowls. Top each portion with corn, a spoonful of salsa, some diced avocado, capers if using, and a sprinkling of lime juice.
This dish is very loosely based on a traditional Colombian dish called ajiaco.