Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pozole Verde (with Chicken)

 I've talked about it many times, but where we live we are absolutely immersed in Mexican/Hispanic culture.  This is especially true at my hubby's work, where he works with 25 women that are from that background.  Needless to say, many of the potlucks that go on at their office have to do with delicious authentic Mexican dishes.  One potluck I went to recently was a pozole potluck where a few ladies brought their best recipes.  Both my hubs and I fell in love with a green pozole.  Since then, I've thought about it and never thought I could pull it off.  Well, I got brave :)

What is posole you say?  Pozole is a soup/stew that generally has pork or chicken, a delicious broth (mine included tomatillos), and hominy.  What is hominy, you say?  Wikipedia explains is as this: "To make hominy, field corn (maize) grain is dried, then treated by soaking and cooking the mature (hard) grain in a dilute solution of lye, slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) or wood ash, a process termed nixtamalization. The soaked maize is washed, and then ground into masa. When fresh masa is dried and powdered, it becomes masa seca or masa harina." And masa is made into corn tortillas. Hominy is catching it before the drying stage. Then it is all topped off with things like avocado, lime, radishes, cabbage, and cilantro to name a few.

After dinner, my hubby told me "not bad for a white girl!" I'm guessing he liked it!

Pozole Verde (with chicken)

-Two 15 ounce cans cooked hominy, or 4 cups home-cooked hominy (8 ounces dry will yield approximately 4 cups)
-1 large white onion, sliced thin lengthwise
-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
-bay leaf
-3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs (I'm sure you could also use breast meat, but I don't think the resulting broth would be as flavorful)
-1/2 cup pepitas
-1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed with warm water
-1 -2 bunches fresh cilantro
-1 teaspoon dried epazote
-2 tablespoons canola oil

Delicious Garnishes:
-avocados, chopped and tossed with salt and lime juice
-radishes, chopped
-small white onion, chopped
-additional chopped cilantro
-lots of limes
-more epazote, or crushed oregano
-very thin-sliced cabbge

As I mentioned above, if you are using dried hominy, it needs to be soaked and cooked before you can make the pozole. I followed the instructions on the package. 

In a stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.  Add 1/2 sliced onion, 3 cloves garlic, bay, and a teaspoon of salt to the pot. Cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Next, add the whole chicken thighs to the pot. Skim off any foam that forms. Simmer very gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Use kitchen tongs to remove the chicken and set it on a platter to cool. Strain the broth and set it aside for later. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.

Grind pepitas in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. ( I think it's brilliant that this recipe uses these ground pepitas for a thickener for the stew.) Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups water with remaining 1/2 onion and tomatillos over high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 10 minutes, until veggies are tender. Discard the cooking liquid and place the cooked tomatillos and onions into a standing blender along with 1/4 cup cilantro, 3 more cloves garlic, epazote, and 1.5 teaspoons salt. Blend thoroughly.

Heat canola oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pureed veg to the hot pan - be careful as it will be splattery. Cook the sauce uncovered, stirring regularly until it thickens - about 10 minutes. Add the ground pepitas and 1 cup of the broth reserved from cooking the chicken, stir and cook another 5 minutes. 

Finally add the shredded chicken, cooked hominy, and 3 cups of reserved broth to the pot. Simmer partially covered for 20 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Season with additional salt to taste - though keep in mind that adding freshly squeeze lime to soup will add a nice punch.

Scoop warm pozole into low bowls and serve with all the wonderful garnishes. Now that's good.

serves 6

Recipe Source:  Yummy Supper

No comments:

Post a Comment