Escabeche – Belizean Onion Soup

A delicate soup eaten with chicken for Sundays or special occasions.

A delicate, bright, acidic soup, typically eaten with corn tortillas, boiled/broiled chicken, warm corn tortillas, and a glass of coke.


Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6-8 servings


  • 1 - whole chicken
  • 6-8 - whole allspice seeds
  • 6 Belizean oregano leaves or 2 tsp crushed oregano
  • 6 - whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon - cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons - whole pepper corn
  • 1 stick - cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon - Consome de Pollo Maggi or Knorr (preferred brands)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 lbs. - onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup - distilled white vinegar, a little more or less depending on your taste
  • 1 small can of pickled jalapenos or 2-4 whole fresh jalapeno


  1. In a 6 quart enamel soup pot place the whole chicken which has been halved through the middle. If you are Belizean then it goes without saying that the chicken has been washed in water that has lemon juice. I know in other countries people trust that a packaged super market chicken is ready to use but not me I believe in giving the chicken a dip in lemon water and removing some of the extra fat hanging out of the chicken.
  2. Add water to the pot until it is about halfway filled. Or you can calculate about 1 1/2 cups of liquid per person. There should be enough water to cover the chicken.
  3. Then add all the spices EXCEPT the vinegar, onions and Jalapeno peppers. place pot on the stove and get it to boil. 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.
  4. While the chicken is cooking. Put a kettle of water to boil. Peel and slice onions, pull apart the slices ie 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 until the chicken is cooked.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked take it out of broth and place in a bowl to season before grilling.
  6. Return to the onions, drain the onions and add onions to the chicken broth.
  7. Now add the vinegar. Start with 1 cup, stir it in and taste. If you want it more sour add more vinegar, if it is too sour add 1 cup water or more to dilute it. Finally add the jalapeno peppers to taste. 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 return to your chicken. Season the boiled chicken with Lawry seasoned salt, a sprinkle or more of Lee and Perrins sauce, a sprinkle or more of olive oil or butter and place under broiler or grill till skin gets a nice golden roasted color about 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Serve a bowl of Escabeche with a piece of roasted chicken and a handful of tortillas. This soup is excellent to get over a hangover, or to boost your immune system.

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