Monday, June 27, 2011

Chicken Pozole Verde

Pozole is a hearty Mexican soup or stew that come in several different styles (with pork or chicken, red, white or green). This recipe can be made either as a pozole, using hominy, or as a white chicken chili, using cannellini beans (or heck, use both). The tomatillos are optional, but add a nice tartness and more color.  You will be surprised that all the green chiles don't make it very hot, so feel free to up the spice level if you like. This serves 6 hungry people.

 This is the chicken chili style, which uses beans instead of hominy. 

3 lbs bone-in chicken, skin removed
2 large red onions, one half reserved for garnish
3 jalapeño chiles, one reserved for garnish
3 anaheim chiles
2 poblano chiles
5-6 tomatillos, husked
7 garlic cloves, crushed
1 heaping Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 cans white beans or hominy, rinsed and drained
1/2 bundle cilantro, chopped
Salt and black pepper
Oil or lard

Garnishes:
3 limes, quartered (reserve juice of one)
1 c. thinly sliced radishes
1-2 avocados, diced or sliced
Jalapeños, diced
Mexican oregano, to taste
Thinly sliced cabbage
Black pepper
Corn chips or tostadas
Sour cream

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Fry them in some oil in a deep frying pan with a lid. Turn them a couple of times and once they are nicely browned on the edges (~10 min), add two peeled garlic cloves and cover the breasts with water. Bring just to a boil, turn off the heat, then put the lid on and let them sit undisturbed for 20 minutes. After they are cooked through, remove them from the liquid and allow them to cool, saving the broth for the soup.

Meanwhile, remove the stems and seeds from all the peppers. Dice one jalapeño and half of a red onion and reserve for garnish. Use a food processor to coarsely chop the remaining onion, peppers, tomatillos, and garlic together.

In a dutch oven, heat more oil and fry the chopped onion-pepper mixture with the cumin and coriander until it softens and begins to brown on the edges and the moisture is reduced. If you are making white chili, and not pozole, blend one of the cans of beans in the food processor with 1 cup of the liquid from the chicken. If you are making pozole, remove half of the cooked onion-pepper mixture and process it until it is smooth (or use a stick blender) and then return it to the pot.

Add the chicken broth and beans/hominy to the pot. Pull apart the chicken and add to the pot. If you make it my way there's a lot of chicken and not much broth, but you can add more water/broth if you like. Add the cilantro and juice of lime and adjust the salt and pepper.

Garnish with onions, peppers, radishes, avocado, cabbage, oregoano, etc... as you like. Eat with tostadas smeared with sour cream.

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