Welcome to the vibrant and flavorful world of Bahamian cuisine, where each dish tells a story of tradition, culture, and the rich flavors of the islands. Among the treasures of Bahamian culinary heritage is the beloved Chicken Souse, a hearty and comforting dish that delights both locals and visitors alike.

Originating from the bustling kitchens of the Bahamas, Chicken Souse is a deliciously tangy and aromatic soup that combines tender chicken with a medley of fresh vegetables, zesty citrus, and a hint of spice. Its roots can be traced back to the influences of African, Caribbean, and European culinary traditions, resulting in a unique fusion of flavors that is distinctly Bahamian.

In this recipe, we invite you to embark on a culinary journey to the sunny shores of the Bahamas, where the tantalizing aroma of Chicken Souse fills the air and every spoonful brings a taste of tropical paradise. Whether enjoyed as a hearty meal on a cool evening or served as a comforting dish during gatherings with family and friends, Bahamian Chicken Souse is sure to warm your heart and tantalize your taste buds with its irresistible flavors. So, gather your ingredients, prepare your pot, and let's dive into the art of creating this beloved Bahamian delicacy.


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and thinly sliced (adjust to taste for spice level)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water, enough to cover the chicken
  • Optional: hot sauce, for serving


1- Start by cleaning the chicken pieces thoroughly under cold running water. Pat them dry with paper towels and set aside.

2- In a large pot, place the chicken pieces and add enough water to cover them completely.

3- Squeeze the juice of the limes over the chicken pieces and into the pot. Add the sliced onions, minced garlic, sliced Scotch bonnet peppers, bell pepper, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and dried thyme.

4- Season generously with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.

5- Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer gently for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

6- As the soup cooks, skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface with a spoon.

7- Once the chicken is fully cooked and tender, remove it from the pot and shred the meat using two forks. Discard any bones or unwanted parts.

8- Return the shredded chicken to the pot and give the soup a good stir to incorporate all the flavors.

9- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more salt, pepper, or even a dash of hot sauce for extra heat, if desired.

10- Serve the Bahamian Chicken Souse hot in bowls, garnished with fresh lime wedges and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired. Enjoy this hearty and flavorful soup with slices of crusty bread or boiled white rice on the side.

11- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Enjoy this delicious taste of the Bahamas with your family and friends!

Nutritional Values

Here are the approximate nutritional values for the ingredients used in the Bahamian Chicken Souse recipe:

Whole Chicken (approx. 3.5 lbs):

  • Calories: 1618 kcal
  • Protein: 219 g
  • Fat: 79 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits: Excellent source of protein, vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, phosphorus, and selenium. It also provides essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and repair.

Limes (juiced, 2 limes):

  • Calories: 30 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 2 g

benefits: Rich in vitamin C, limes boost immunity, aid digestion, and promote healthy skin. They also contain antioxidants that help fight inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.

Onions (2 onions, thinly sliced):

  • Calories: 94 kcal
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 4 g

benefits: Onions are packed with antioxidants, particularly quercetin, which may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. They also provide fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients essential for overall health.

Scotch Bonnet Peppers (2-3 peppers, seeded and thinly sliced):

  • Calories: 30 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g

benefits: These peppers contain capsaicin, which gives them their spicy flavor and provides various health benefits, including pain relief, improved metabolism, and reduced inflammation. They're also rich in vitamins A and C.

Garlic (4-5 cloves, minced):

  • Calories: 18 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits: Garlic is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and boost immune function. Garlic also contains antioxidants that may reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Bell Pepper (1 pepper, thinly sliced):

  • Calories: 31 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g

benefits: Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C, which supports immune health and collagen production. They also provide vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants that help protect cells from damage.

Carrots (2 medium-sized, peeled and sliced):

  • Calories: 52 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 3 g

benefits: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. They promote healthy vision, skin, and immune function. Carrots also provide fiber and antioxidants that support digestive health and reduce inflammation.

Celery (2 stalks, chopped):

  • Calories: 13 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g

benefits: Celery is low in calories and rich in fiber, making it beneficial for digestion and weight management. It also contains vitamins K and C, folate, and potassium, which support heart health and bone strength.

Bay Leaf (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 2 kcal
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g

benefits: Bay leaves contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. They may help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and lower blood sugar levels.

Dried Thyme (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 3 kcal
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g

benefits: Thyme is rich in antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties that may help fight infections and support immune health. It also contains vitamins C and K, iron, and manganese.

Salt and Pepper: Nutritional values are negligible as they are used in small quantities.

benefits: While used in small amounts for flavor, salt provides essential electrolytes like sodium and chloride, necessary for nerve function and fluid balance. Pepper contains antioxidants and may aid digestion.

Water: Nutritional values are negligible as it does not contribute significant calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, or fiber.

benefits: Essential for hydration and overall bodily functions, water helps regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, and flush out toxins. It's vital for maintaining good health and well-being.


Hot Sauce: Nutritional values depend on the type and amount used.

These values are approximate and may vary based on factors such as the specific ingredients used and cooking methods.


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