Admittedly, I stumbled onto SKORDO by chance.

Years ago, I was working part-time at the small Allen Edmonds store in Freeport, Maine, when one day, I came to work to see that, low and behold, a spice store had opened in the same building. Though I wasn’t optimistic about the significance of the products this town tended to attract, being a tourist destination, I decided to investigate on my lunch break.

This visit would subsequently lead to my current obsession with SKORDO’s offerings, being overly impressed with the intensity of the spices themselves, as well as the knowledgeability of the staff. I quickly began swapping out my entire selection at home with the comforting blue and white labels that I identified as a hallmark of quality.

I continue to exclusively purchase SKORDO to this day, as they have repeatedly established the trust that if it bears their label, it is the best possible example of that particular herb, spice, mushroom, or even extract for baking. It’s one less thing I must worry about, which works for me.


Joe Ricchio’s recipe for Ajiaco Cubano

  • 1 lb bacon, but into 1” pieces
  • 5 large bone-in chicken thighs
  • ½ lb butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons SKORDO Adobo Seasoning
  • 2 SKORDO Bay Leaves
  • 3 Quarts Chicken Stock
  • 4 whole corn on the cob, cut into segments each
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Limes, for garnish
  • Queso Fresco, for garnish


Cook the bacon over medium-low heat until it has rendered a fair amount of fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

Working in batches, if need to be, increase the heat to medium-high and brown the chicken thighs in the bacon fat, setting aside afterward. 

Add the butter, onion, and carrots – scraping up as much of the fond as possible. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the potatoes, continuing to cook for two minutes more. 

Add the tomato paste, seasoning, and bay leaves, stirring to combine. 

Add the chicken stock, reserved chicken thighs, and corn on the cob, bringing the soup to a boil before dropping to a simmer. Cook for two hours.

Remove the chicken from the soup and, when it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat from the bone and add it back into the soup.

Salt and pepper to taste

If desired, crisp up the reserved bacon to use as garnish.

Serve the soup with lime wedges, cilantro, and crumbled queso fresco. Ensure each diner receives a segment of corn, which will have soaked up the soup into each kernel.

Serve with tortillas and white rice for a full meal (Joe likes to add some pork lard to his rice!)

To learn more about Joe - because trust us you want to know all about him and the food adventures he takes others on, visit his website or follow him on Instagram @foodcomamaine.

July 17, 2023

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