03.28.19

Pozole Verde

Pozole is one of my favorite dishes of all time. Pozole, literally meaning “hominy” is a traditional soup from Mexico. As a Texan, I’ve experienced many bowls of pozole. Some great, some not so great. There are many different types of pozole but I’ve grown up eating either Pozole Verde or Pozole Rojo (aka red or green pozole). 

Pozole is traditionally filled with hominy (made from dried corn kernals and treated through a special process involving lye), lots of meat (typically using pork), and can be seasoned and garnished using radishes, shredded lettuce, chiles, onion, lime, and avocado. 

Pozole is one of those dishes that I grew up eating, but never knew how to really make it nor never tried. I was recently raving about one of my favorite bowls of Pozole served in town at the local restaurant Jose to our Nanny, Martha. Martha said while Jose’s pozole is very good, her Mom’s recipe is better and she wanted to teach me how to really make pozole. Heck yes! Martha is an incredible cook, and I love learning from her in the kitchen. 

So, I sat down in the kitchen and watched her work away. A rare and quite enjoyable moment for me since I am usually the mad scientist in the kitchen myself. And a mad scientist she was, indeed. At one point, there was a giant pot on the stovetop boiling away, a small saucepan boiling away, a skillet sauteeing away, and she was chopping away at the counter. I thought, woah. This is quite a production to make pozole! 

The pozole that Martha made for me was the best I’ve ever had. The depth of flavor was unreal and I we ate it all week long. It made enough to feed a small army, haha, but hey! I am not complaining. I would be happy to eat that pozole for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. yum. 

After Martha showed me the ropes in making Pozole, I knew I needed to attempt it for myself. I’ve taken Martha’s Pozole and I have done a few things so that I can share it with you. First off, I’ve made the recipe much smaller; however, it still makes a ton and can feed a lot of mouths. Like I said, Martha’s fed a small army! haha. There are also a lot of steps in making a good pozole, so I’ve made some minor changes to make it a tiny bit easier/less messy of a cooking experience for the home cook. That way, any level of cook can get a delicious bowl of pozole on the table. And lastly, I opted to use chicken instead of pork in this soup. Pork is preferable but many folks don’t eat pork these days. Plus it makes the cook time increase by a lot. I do love it with the pork though, personally, and will show you guys how to make it with pork sometime soon! It’s so good. 

One more tid bit that I never knew about eating pozole. Martha told me that you never eat pozole without a tostada. We had a good laugh in my kitchen because she served up my pozole with a crispy tostada (just the packaged ones you buy in a store, nothing fancy) and I said… do I dip this? Martha said nope. Okay, do I scoop the soup contents over it? Martha said nope, you just eat it alongside the soup. I thought.. hum. Seems unnecessary but the corn flavor from the tostada alongside the pozole is quite a match made in heaven. It’s like saltine crackers with chicken noodle soup. They just go together.

Regardless, a big thank you goes to Martha for teaching me new, amazing techniques in my kitchen. I love learning from you. Thank you for sharing with me and allowing me to share it on my blog! 

Pozole Verde

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Total Time1 hr

Ingredients

  • 4 large poblanos, seeds and cores removed & cut into 2 inch chunks or 5 cups
  • 1.5 lbs tomatillo, husks removed and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/8ths
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 4 cups (packed) green leaf lettuce, loosely chopped
  • 2 cups (packed) cilantro
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 25 oz Mexican style hominy, drained and rinsed *omit for Whole30 and see notes.
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head iceberg, shredded
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment. 
  • Add the poblanos and tomatillos. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast until the poblanos are tender and the tomatillos have softened, 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the chicken breast and let simmer until cooked through, or no longer pink, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a high-speed blender, add the white onion, garlic, kosher salt and 1-2 ladles of the broth mixture (or approx. 1 cup). Blend until smooth then add into the soup pot. (don't put up the blender-- you'll need it a few times).
  • In the blender, add the green leaf lettuce, cilantro and 2-3 ladles of the broth mixture (about 2 cups). Blend to combine then add to the soup pot.
  • Once the cook time on the poblanos and tomatillos is complete, add to the blender with 1-2 ladles of the broth (you may need to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your blender). Blend until smooth and add to the soup pot. 
  • At this point in the cooking process there may be some foam forming at the top of the soup. Using a spoon, skim the foam off the top of the soup and discard. 
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, using tongs remove the chicken from the pot and onto a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Add the shredded chicken back into the soup.
  • Add hominy and stir to combine. Simmer until the hominy is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sliced radishes, iceberg, lime, avocado and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*For Whole30-- omit the hominy. I dice 2 large russet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and add it to the soup and cook at the end the same as the hominy, or until tender. 

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