Chicken, Chayote and Quinoa Stoup

Nope, that's not a typo in the title. Neither soup nor stew, "stoup" seemed like just the right word to describe this dish. The recipe begins with a sofrito of slow-cooked onions, red pepper, garlic and achiote, a wonderful way to build flavour, and the foundation—with slight variations from country to country—of many Latin American dishes. Chayote, a type of squash also known as mirliton and cho-cho, is becoming more readily available in mainstream supermarkets and can usually be found at specialty grocers and in Latin American, Caribbean and Southeast Asian food shops.

By / Photography By Gail Gordon Oliver | November 15, 2015


Using a heavy cleaver, chop each chicken leg into four or five pieces. (You can also have your butcher do this for you or you can just cut the chicken into thigh and drumstick portions.) Set the chicken aside.

In a small stockpot or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion, red pepper, garlic and achiote (if using). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and pepper are very soft, about 15 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to prevent the onions from browning.

Stir in the turmeric, thyme, espelette, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Stir in the broth and quinoa. Add the chicken pieces and chayote. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside and the quinoa has burst open, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve in deep bowls with lots of crusty bread to sop up the delicious juices.


  • 4 whole chicken legs, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp achiote (annatto) powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric or 2 knobs fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground piment d'espelette or cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 2 chayotes, peeled, seed removed, and cut into chunks or 2 small kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into chunks
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