A Traditional Mexican Soup But Made With Chicken
Posole is a Mexican dish that’s traditionally prepared with a less expensive cut of pork like the shoulder but can also be made with chicken or turkey. It is basically made the same way except you substitute chicken or pork. I prefer using thigh meat because I think dark meat has more flavor and won’t dry out like breast meat can but don’t let that stop you from using the meat from a whole chicken.
One of the key ingredients to any posole and what makes it so special is hominy. Hominy is made from kernels of corn whose hull and germ are removed with the help of an alkali solution of either lime or lye. What you end up with are grain kernels that puff up to twice their normal size.
Did you know that grits, also called hominy grits, is
dried hominy that’s been ground and simmered?
The corn used to make hominy is not the sweet corn that we eat off the cob. It comes from maize, a type of corn used specifically for producing corn meal. You can purchase hominy either dried or in a can. The dried hominy needs to be soaked and then simmered for hours before it can be used for posole but the canned hominy has already been cooked and ready to go. Which is better? I don’t know, I’ve only used canned hominy in my recipes.
There are two traditional posole recipe prepared with pork on ReluctantGourmet.com. One is called Posole Recipe and the other Paula’s Posole Recipe, the latter comes from my friend Paula, a native of Mexico and wonderful cook.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 pounds chicken meat, I prefer legs and thighs but any chicken meat will do
3 - 15.5 cans hominy, drained
5 cups of chicken stock (you can use water but the chicken stock will add a lot of additional flavor)
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
Salt & pepper, to taste
For the Pepper Puree
4 California chiles (dried Anaheim chiles) - you can substitute ancho chile peppers which are dried poblano peppers.
For the Garnish
10 radishes, slice thin
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
handful cilantro leaves
How To Prepare At Home
In a large soup pot, heat up the oil over medium heat and when hot, add the onion and cook for approximately 3 minutes until it starts to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add the chicken to the pot and stir to coat with oil. Add 2 cups of water or enough to cover the chicken and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. This will take about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile - Get the peppers ready
While the chicken is cooking, prep the peppers and work on the garnish. Under running water, tear the dried peppers in half and rinse out the seeds. You may need a knife to help open them up.
Put the peppers into a small saucepan, add some water and let them simmer for 20 minutes. After simmering, drain the peppers, puree in a blender or food processor and reserve.
Finishing the Posole
When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the pot and onto a cutting board. It’s hot, so be careful. After it cools down a bit, remove any bones and/or skin from the chicken. Shred the chicken with your hands or with a fork and put it back into the soup pot along with the hominy and chicken stock.
Now add the reserved pureed peppers, oregano and simmer for 8 minutes until all the flavors had a chance to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve the posole in deep soup bowls and garnish with the radishes, limes lettuce and cilantro leaves.
Just like the pork posole, this dish is delicious but I think it’s even better the next day.
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