I've been begging my friend Arturo to teach me how to make pozole for months now.
The problem is that it is sort of like asking someone to make you "taco night"!
Pozole is a big production, not in the making of it, but in all of the wonderful garnishes you can add to it.
What Is Pozole?
Pozole is a traditional soup or stew of Mexico, from pre-Columbian days. The name is derived from the Nahuatl "potzolli" and the stew is made with hominy and pork or chicken.
This particular version of Arturo's is made with chicken and is called "pozole blanco" in his native state of Guerrero, Mexico, where pozole is practically the state dish.
While in New Mexico pozole is traditionally served on Christmas eve, in Guerrero it is served every Thursday and Saturday, all year long.
Light and healthful, pozole is also a common Mexican cure for a hangover, ironic in that it is also traditionally enjoyed with mezcal.
Hominy for Pozole
Pozole is both the name of the dish and also refers to hominy — whole kernels of dried corn that have had the hull and germ removed — in this soup. It's the key ingredient in this soup, but it's not possible to get in many parts of the world. One cup of dried beans such as chickpeas or cannellini beans (soaked to soften) will work in a pinch if you can't find hominy.
This recipe uses canned hominy that's already been cooked. You can cook dried hominy from scratch, but it takes time, just like cooking dried beans does.
Making-Ahead and Storing Chicken Pozole
Make this chicken pozole recipe — without its garnishes — up to 2 days ahead of time and store tightly covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to heat and serve. Prep the vegetables for the garnish 1 day ahead of time (except for the avocado) and store covered in the refrigerator. Reheat the pozole on the stovetop over medium low until heated through and the chicken reaches 165°F.
Freeze pozole — without garnishes — in a freezer safe zipper bag or container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stovetop over medium low heat until heated through and the chicken reaches 165°F.
Try These Mexican-Inspired Soups and Stews
- Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Pork and Poblano Stew
- Mexican Chicken Lime Soup (Sopa de Lima)
- Tomatillo Chicken Stew
Chicken Pozole Blanco
1 (4 1/2 to 5 1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut into parts
1 red onion, sliced in half
1 (105-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed, divided
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 to 2 tablespoons dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it)
1/4 whole cabbage, thinly sliced
1 tomato, cored, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, chopped
1 red onion, peeled, chopped
1 large bunch cilantro, chopped
1 large bunch watercress, chopped
Mexican cheese, Queso Fresco, sliced
Several red radishes, thinly sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges
Chopped seeded jalapeno or serrano chilies, or other chili peppers
Tostadas or tortilla chips
Simmer the chicken in a large pot of water:
Place chicken pieces in a large pot, cover with about 3 quarts of water. Add one onion, sliced in half, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Pull apart the chicken meat and shred:
Remove chicken from pot, let cool so that it is cool enough to handle. Use a fork to pull chicken meat away from the bones. Discard any skin.
Continue to simmer the bones:
Set the meat aside and return the bones to the stock pot. Continue to simmer the bones, uncovered, for another half an hour.
Blend half the hominy with stock and garlic:
Take 4 cups of the hominy (about half of the can), and place into a blender. Scoop 2 cups of the chicken stock from the stock pot and add it to the blender. Add 4 peeled cloves of garlic to the blender.
Place the lid on the blender, cover with a towel so that you don't get burned, hold down the cover and blend until completely puréed.
Skim the foam, remove solids from stock, and add hominy and oregano:
Skim foam and excess fat from the top of the surface of the stock. Remove the bones and any solids from the stock pot and discard.
Pour in the blended hominy to the pot. Add the remaining whole hominy to the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of crumbled dried oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Prepare the garnishes:
While the hominy is cooking in the stock, prepare the garnishes. Arrange on a large platter or in several small bowls.
Add the shredded chicken:
Right before serving, shred or chop the cooked chicken meat and add it back to the pot. Add salt to taste.
Serve pozole in individual bowls topped with the garnishes of your choice. Serve with tostadas (flat fried corn tortillas) or tortilla chips.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 69g||88%|
|Saturated Fat 19g||95%|
|Total Carbohydrate 74g||27%|
|Dietary Fiber 13g||47%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 11mg||57%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|