Many people ask us for recipes from Barrio. While we are always happy to provide people with these, there are times that we get a bit nervous that the guest will have trouble duplicating the flavors without committing a great deal of time to the process. One of the reasons for this is caldo, which is an all-purpose broth that we use for dozens of preparations. It is made from chicken bones and meat, onions, carrots, chiles and spices such as coriander and cumin. This broth is simmered for hours, meticulously skimmed of fat and impurities, and then strained through a very fine mesh sieve known as a chinois.
This time consuming operation essentially just creates another ingredient that we use around the Barrio kitchen. We use this broth as the liquid for our pozole, we braise meats in it to make taco fillings, and we use it on the kitchen line to moisten vegetables and meats. The caldo is different from a traditional French chicken stock which is made with bay leaves, celery and sometimes leeks. That is one reason that off-the-shelf chicken broth is not a great substitute either, as the store bought broth is usually formulated with the French method.
While caldo might make it difficult to precisely duplicate Barrio’s recipes at home, it makes for some pretty delicious cuisine at the restaurant. There are many dishes which actually feature the caldo such as pozole, while there are others where the caldo helps to build that deep, intense flavor into the final product such as our Chicken en Adobo Tacos. We recommend coming down to try them all!