Place chicken in a large pot on the stove. Add 4-6 cups water (there should be a couple of inches of water above the chicken). Add all spices to cook with the chicken. Once chicken is done ( it will be solid white throughout) remover chicken from liquid and place on cutting board. Allow to cool for about ten minutes before shredding with a fork and knife. (Alternatively, you can just cut the chicken in small pieces, but you will definitely get a better result with your soup if you shred).
Return chicken to liquid. If it seems there is not enough liquid, simply add more!
Add sweet potatoes and boil for approximately ten minutes.
Add black beans and onions (as well as jalapeños if using) and reduce to a simmer.
Simmer for approximately ten more minutes or until potatoes are tender.