Traditional Mexican Chicken Pozole Verde made with comforting hominy, spicy peppers, delicious chicken and so much love.
I’m leaving for vacation in 48 hours folks! That’s right. I am officially signing off after this post until April 22nd when I shall return refreshed and renewed (there may be one scheduled post in there but consider me gone!). Puerto Vallarta has been calling my name since late last month, and the constant dreams of sunny weather, turquoise water and frozen drinks is almost deafening. Because I’m heading to Mexico for fun and sun, I thought it would be appropriate if my final recipe before departing was a Mexican classic: Chicken Pozole Verde.
I remember the very first time I had chicken pozole verde or chicken posole depending on where you are from. I ordered a large bowl of it at a local Chicago restaurant called Flacos Tacos. It was a constant hangout for staff and students at an arts college I worked at back in the day. Lunches (and after work margaritas) were frequently had there, and sidebar, this place has some of the very best red velvet cupcakes I have ever tasted. Random right?
Well in addition to bomb tacos (and cupcakes), I frequently ordered a warm and comforting bowl of the chicken pozole verde. At first glance, the soup is a strange murky green color. Bobbing along the brothy surface are shredded pieces of chicken and bits of hominy. At first taste, the subtle yet potent spices of poblano and jalapeno peppers are perfectly paired with the undertone of tomatillos and the homey savoriness of the chicken and hominy. Everything in this soup just works. All of the ingredients work to enhance its counterparts, never overwhelming another. It is both filling and fulfilling in the most comforting way. Spoonful after spoonful I imagined a Mexican grandmother preparing me this meal in her loving kitchen just like my Big Mama used to do for me. It’s a beautiful heartfelt recipe with lots of soul, just the kind I love.
I actually asked around to a lot of friends to see if they had a recipe. A few promised me one from their grandmothers but for some reason, (even after begging numerous times) I never received one. I guess it is pretty guarded in some families like most sacred heirloom recipes. After my frustration, I ended up trying a few renditions online and found one that tasted just like the one I remembered at Flacos Tacos. This recipe created the same warm feelings for me, and made me even more excited for my trip to Mexico. I will miss you, but I leave you with this soup to keep you warm and fuzzy. And with that said, Adiós until I return!
- 2 tomatillos, husked and halved
- 1 half medium onion, quartered
- 1 poblano chile (cored, seeded and quartered)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and quartered
- 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 3½ cups chicken stock, separated
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup water
- 2 cooked boneless chicken breasts, shredded
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white hominy, drained
- Garnish: avocado, lime wedges, radishes and cilantro
- In a food processor or high duty blender, add tomatillos, onion, both chiles, garlic, and cilantro and pulse/blend until everything is completely smooth with no chunks.
- Add oil to a medium sized pot over medium heat. Pour green puree in pot along with 1 cup of chicken stock. Whisk together and season with salt and pepper.
- Allow puree to cook, occasionally stirring, until it turns a darker green color. This can take up to 15 minutes.
- While puree cooks, add remaining chicken stock and water to a larger pot over medium heat.
- Once puree is dark green, whisk it into the liquid in the larger pot.
- Next add shredded chicken breasts and drained hominy and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook soup over medium heat until heated throughout then serve.
- Garnish pozole with traditional toppings like avocado, lime wedges, radishes and cilantro if desired.