Lately my sister has been making this all the time – and I have been loving it. I finally just had to have the recipe so I could make it myself. It’s one of those hearty soups that’s heavy enough for dinner, but not overly caloric or fattening. The warmth, the red color, and the hint of spice make it perfect for a cold, wintry night.
Pozole (also spelled posole – and pronounced poe-SOH-lay) is a traditional Mexican stew made with hominy – dried maize kernels that have undergone what is perhaps the coolest-named preservation process of all time, nixtamalization. There is evidence that the process–which preserves the corn while boosting its nutritional value–has been kicking around present-day Mexico and Guatemala since at least 1500 BC. You can find canned hominy in the Mexican section of most supermarkets. It has a chewy texture that goes great with the shredded chicken and hot broth.
Pozole is meant to be served with some accoutrements so people can personalize their portion at the table. I serve it with the traditional shredded cabbage and thinly sliced radishes, but I like to bring chili flakes, sour cream, chopped scallions, cilantro leaves, and avocado slices to the table as well. I also buy thick homemade tortillas from a Mexican market and toast them on the gas flame to scoop up the chicken.
Recipe: Red Chicken Pozole
- 2 large dried ancho chilies
- 1 Tblsp honey
- 1 Tblsp white or red wine vinegar
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
- 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- flour for dredging
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 Tbslp chili powder (New Mexico style is best if you can find it)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 30 oz. canned hominy, drained and rinsed with water
- salt and pepper
- any combination you like of tortillas, avocado, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, and sour cream for serving