January 3, 2011

Pozole (Mexican Chicken Soup)


Pozole, sometimes spelled posole, is a hearty Mexican chicken soup that dates back to the time of the Aztecs. The broth is rich with a bit of tang from the lime and studded with chewy bits of hominy.


It can be garnished with a variety of goodies but my favorites are shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, a squirt of lime and a slight drizzle of chili sauce.


There are few things that I really like about pozole more than other soups. One is that it’s just plain good and it’s versatile. It’s hardy enough for cold winter nights but doesn’t seem out of place on a summer table. Most importantly, perhaps, is that it utilizes a whole chicken. In the land of the boneless, skinless breast, which are very expensive if you are buying them from a sustainable, humane source, it’s refreshing to see that nothing is wasted.



1-2 Tbs canola oil

4-6 pound chicken, cut into pieces

salt and pepper

8 cups low-sodium chicken stock

4 cups water

1 tsp cumin

1 Tbs chili powder (preferably 100% chili without cumin or salt added)

1 Tbs dried oregano

2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

2 ribs of celery, coarsely chopped

2 limes, zest and juice

1 29oz can hominy

garnish (cabbage, radishes, cilantro, jalapeƱos, etc.)


Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Liberally sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on all sides.

Brown chicken on both sides. You will probably need to work in batches. Remove browned chicken to a cutting board or bowl.

Add two cups of stock to hot pan, scraping bottom to remove flavorful browned bits. Add the rest of the stock, water, cumin, chili powder, oregano, celery, onion, carrot and lime.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover with the lid ajar. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove meat from pan to cool. Stir hominy into stock. When chicken is cooled enough to touch remove meat from bones and add it back into the soup. Discard the bones and skin. 

Ladle hot soup into bowls and add garnishes.


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