Unfussy Fare

Green Pozole with Chicken

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It was cool and rainy yesterday, when I decided I’d make chicken pozole today. I pictured cold rain slapping the roof, and a steamy kitchen, redolent with the soothing smell of garlic, chiles, and chicken. I didn’t consult the forecast. The steamy and redolent kitchen part was accurate, but it’s sunny and 85 degrees today. A crunchy salad and an iced drink would suffice. But never mind. Once the idea of chicken pozole got a hold of me, it didn’t loosen its grip just because the weather didn’t follow the script.

Pozole traditionally stars pork, not chicken. I think the authentic variety involves scary pig parts I don’t typically have on hand. I”m not sure. I’m not picky about authenticity. No sense getting inhibited by accuracy, right? Cooking is an art, not a science. At least, that”s whay I tell myself, because it makes my imprecision sound kind of virtuous.

The garnishes are key here. Offer lots. Pile them on. Cabbage and radishes bring crunch and zing. Avocado adds silky richness. The cilantro chimes in with some funk, and the lime shines a little light on the whole shebang. It”s actually a darn good salad in its own right, lively with textures and taste. But this stew and its toppings are the yin and the yang. They need each other. They love each other. It would be wrong to keep them apart.

Now or later, hot day or cold, you should try this pozole. There’s some chopping and shredding, yes. But go on. It won”t take long. You’ll understand when that first spoonful unfolds its flavors. The heat is balanced by the earthy depth of hominy and toasted pumpkin seeds.  The stew lends a sturdy backdrop to the crisp garnishes. It would make great medicine for a friend with a cold. It offers all the salty comfort of chicken soup, along with a serious dose of flavor to keep things interesting. It seems made to order for a chilly gray day. I’ll have to get back to you on that. For now I can attest that it brought some extra sizzle to this already hot and sunny day.

P.S. You can feed this to people who don’t eat gluten, or eggs, or dairy, or soy. I manosdeayuda did. I was kind of proud of myself for coming up with a recipe that met all those requirements. Little did I realize it would it would be so tasty I would feel compelled to shout it from the cyber-rooftops.

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GREEN POZOLE WITH CHICKEN – adapted from this recipe in Gourmet magazine
makes four hearty servings

1/3 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound tomatillos, husked and chopped (If you don’t have fresh, you can buy canned in the Mexican food section of many grocery stores.)
¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 15-ounce cans white hominy, rinsed and drained

Grind pumpkin seeds finely in food processor or spice grinder. Set aside.

In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, heat three tablespoons of oil. Sauté onion, garlic, and jalapenos until soft, three to five minutes.

Puree the sautéed vegetables, salt, oregano, tomatillos, and cilantro in food processor. Return the puree to the stock pot.

Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, about ten minutes.

Add chicken broth and raw chicken. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer. After 15 minutes, remove the chicken pieces using tongs and place them in a bowl. When it’s cool enough to handle, shred the chicken meat, discarding any big blobs of fat or gristle you wouldn’t want to find in your mouth.

Add hominy and ground pumpkin seeds to the pot. Add the shredded chicken and its accumulated juices. Simmer on low heat for about 20 more minutes.

Serve with shredded cabbage, chopped radish, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and whatever else your heart desires.

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13 Responses to “Green Pozole with Chicken”

  1. Claire says:

    This sounds delish! Perfect for coming cold months.

  2. Sindy says:

    This sounds wonderful with the exception of the Hominy (just not a fan). Maybe replace it with corn or leave it out all together? How about some very small dice potatoes? What would you suggest?

  3. Kevin says:

    That looks so tasty! I am going to have to see if I can track down some hominy.

  4. Gillian says:

    Hi Sindy: I’d do both corn and potatoes in lieu of hominy. Corn for the flavor and potatoes for the thick/starchiness would do the trick. Probably throw them both in for the last twenty minutes or so for a comparable stew.

    Hi Kevin: I usually find hominy in the canned vegetables section, but I’ve also seen imported brands with the canned Mexican foods.

    Is that you, Claire? In Bainbridge? Or some other Claire? Whoever you are, thanks for reading!

  5. Grandy and Esme says:

    We’re eating breakfast and reading your blog. Of course Andy LOVES spicey so this will be our next joint cooking venture. We can’t wait.

  6. Gillian says:

    Hi Esme! For Andy, I would add two jalapenos. Love, G

  7. Derek Olso says:

    My grandmother would have loved this. She was always raising a pig or two on her land. She was never afraid of the scary parts, put them in lots of soups and stews, and then successfully hid them from the children with garnishes.

  8. Gillian says:

    Hi Derek: I need someone like your grandmother in my life. Scary animal parts make for some good eating in my estimation. I, like “the children,” just want someone else to cook them for me, and then disguise them well in pretty garnishes.

  9. I bet I would love this soup!

  10. It was pouring buckets in the Bay Area yesterday. Would have loved to warm up with some of this Pozole. And yes, my bowl would be empty just like that last shot :-D

  11. Gillian says:

    Here in Portland, too, Stephanie. The weather I was envisioning back in September is now a chilly, wet reality. Hope you enjoy the soup!

  12. Sarah says:

    Hello Gillian! I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while and just linked to this awesome stew recipe on one of my recent blog posts, you can see it here:
    http://blog.recipelion.com/slow-cooker-chicken-stew-mexican-style/

    But also I was curious, have you ever participated in a blog hop? We’d love it if you came and checked ours out tomorrow, the theme is Favorite Winter Warm-Up recipes. This chicken stew would be perfect to show off! Anyway, it’s a great way to get some link love.

    You can join the blog hop here at midnight: http://blog.recipelion.com/february-blog-hop/

    Hope to see you there, take care,

    Sarah
    Editor
    RecipeLion.com
    blog.recipelion.com

  13. [...] if you want to see another unique twist on a Mexican-inspired stew, check out this tempting Green Pozole with Chicken stew from Unfussy Fare, I love it! Share and [...]

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