Pozole Verde with Chicken


Holy moly do I love pozole! I would take a bowl of this scrumptious chartreuse stew over chili any day- and as a proud Texan, those are fighting words! Pozole, which translates to "hominy" in Spanish, is a traditional Mexican stew featuring braised meat, hominy (dried and treated maize kernels), and assorted traditional garnishes (like cabbage and radish). You can find many varieties of this dish on menus and in cookbooks, but the most common iterations are pozole rojo and pozole verde. They are both absolutely delicious, but when it comes to Mexican dishes, I'm generally on team verde. I adore an herbaceous, tangy, and spicy salsa verde. The base of this stew is essentially a roasted green salsa (so feel free to dunk a few chips in that blender once you've whirred everything together). Lightly charring the chilis, tomatillos and onions under a broiler before blending is optional, but I think it really enhances the flavor of the overall dish. Made with store bought rotisserie chicken, this recipe is speedier than most pozole preparations (but still just as yummy). You could shred the chicken, toast and grind the pumpkin seeds, and make the salsa verde in advance to speed this up even more! In my opinion, the garnishes elevate this recipe from "very good" to "incredibly great"- so don't skip out on the toppings! I love adding thinly sliced radish, shredded cabbage or romaine lettuce, chunks of avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds and lime wedges- it's a soup and salad all in one! You can’t lose with this recipe- it's great for a casual party or meal at home with la familia. ENJOY!

prep time: 20 min. cook time: ~50 min. serves: 6


INGREDIENTS

1 lb tomatillos, husked and quartered if large

1 large poblano pepper (or 2 small)

1 jalapeño pepper, stem removed and cut into chunks (remove the seeds for a milder stew- alternately, add one more jalapeño for a spicier version)

1 white onion, peeled and cut into wedges

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 cups chopped cilantro- leaves and stems

1 tsp dried oregano

salt to taste

1 tbsp avocado or vegetable oil

1/2 cup hulled, raw pumpkin seeds

1-25 oz can hominy, drained and rinsed

4-6 cups chicken stock

3 cups cooked shredded chicken (from one rotisserie chicken)

1 cup frozen corn kernels


FOR SERVING

sliced radish, avocado wedges, shredded romaine lettuce or cabbage, lime wedges, toasted pumpkin seeds and/or tortilla chips

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the salsa verde: preheat the broiler and place a rack in the upper part of the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and add the tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeños and onion to the sheet pan. Broil for 10 minutes then flip and broil another 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly charred. When cool enough to handle, remove most of the blistered skin from the poblano peppers and discard the seeds. Place the broiled tomatillos, onions, jalapeños and peeled and seeded poblanos in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, cilantro, oregano and 1-1/2 tsps of salt (or to taste). Blend until the mixture is well combined but still has a little texture- just no big chunks. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Carefully add the salsa verde (it will splatter if you dump it in too quickly) and Let it simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet until lightly browned. Transfer them to a spice grinder or small food processor and grind until they resemble cornmeal. Add the chicken stock (start with 4 cups- you may need more later if the soup seems too thick) and the ground pumpkin seeds and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Add the chicken, hominy, corn and 1 more teaspoon of salt to the pot and simmer another 15 minutes or so, to meld the flavors and heat everything through. Add more stock if the stew is too thick for your liking and season with more salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with as many tasty toppings as you like!




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