Bahamian Chicken Souse

In anticipation of an upcoming trip to the Bahamas, I did a little research to find out what distinctive local cuisine I should try when I am in the Caribbean island of Nassau.  Everything points to the Bahamian Chicken Souse (pronounced “sowse”). It is not that different from many types of chicken soup and dishes I’ve grown accustomed to in the Philippines, except for the use of whole allspice, which I am told is a “must” ingredient for an authentic recipe.

I debated whether I should wait to experience this dish first-hand in the Bahamas before I attempt to cook it at home.  But I decided to go for a “climactic strategy,” cooking and tasting my home-made version before having the “real” thing IN the Bahamas.  It would be to sort of build up the excitement for my trip and for this popular Bahamian cuisine.

Besides, with the current stormy weather in the San Francisco Bay Area, I thought this would be the perfect time to have warm Bahamian Chicken Souse!


12 pieces chicken wings

4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 medium stalks of celery, sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp whole allspice

2 limes

1/2 tsp dried red pepper

Salt to taste


In a large pot, place the chicken wings and pour water into the pot, about an inch above the chicken wings

Add dried red pepper and salt

Bring to a boil, making sure the chicken wings are cooked to the desired tenderness

Remove from heat and discard the broth

Throroughly rinse the chicken wings in running cold water (this is to ensure a “clear” soup for the final product)

Put the chicken wings back into the pot

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, and whole allspice

Pour water into the pot, just about an inch above the mixture

Add salt and pepper to taste

Bring to a boil

Add celery once the potatoes are cooked and tender

Continue to cook for another minute before removing from heat

Squeeze 1 lime into the pot, saving the second lime to flavor individual servings


(Makes 4-5 servings)


2 thoughts on “Bahamian Chicken Souse

  1. Pingback: FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN, IN THE BAHAMAS « my bay kitchen

  2. Traditionally, American chicken soup was prepared using old hens too tough and stringy to be roasted or cooked for a short time. In modern times, these fowl are difficult to come by, and broiler chickens (young chickens suitable for broiling or roasting) are often used to make soup; soup hens or fowl are to be preferred when available.^

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