If you Google search Chicken Pozole Chili, you come up with about 630,000 results in 0.17 seconds. Could there really be that many different recipes for this Mexican stew? Pork, chicken, or a mix of meats, cilantro, cumin, various types of chili peppers, blanco, green, or red, all have opinions formed around them and committed followers. One item not in question is hominy, which is central to the history of this dish.
The great thing about bringing a recipe to life in our own kitchen is making it to suit any preference. In this case, the challenge was to make Chicken Pozole Chili for my husband, who does not like hominy (hates it, in fact). For him, hominy is just one notch above green peas, which he truly despises. I hoped to make this chili so appealing he wouldn’t notice it too much.
Whenever we try a new recipe, Matt provides helpful feedback by rating it 1-10; ten is the top and a rare score for any meal, anywhere. To my surprise, he gave this recipe a 9.5, my surprise due to the hominy factor. Wondering if my pozole changed his mind about hominy, the questions began circling in my head like seagulls over a picnic on the beach.
Had the warmth of the chilies and fresh garnishes of avocado, cilantro, feta, and tomato been enough? Was it the generous squeeze of lime? Did the abundance of hearty chicken make the hominy worth it? Of course, all this took place in a matter of bites. So when asked, he tells me the hominy was the only thing holding it back from a 10 (did you see my eyes just roll upward?). I explained that without the hominy it was just chicken chili, to which his opinion was unchanged. Oh well, it was a delicious bowl of Chicken Pozole Chili, and I could live with the 9.5. 😉
If you have extra onion, celery, and carrots, cook the chicken the day before, remove the meat, and let the bones simmer overnight for a basic chicken stock to make the chili the following day. Homemade stock makes any soup better. As much as I love to practice traditional cooking methods, I used canned hominy found in your average grocery store for this recipe, though fresh hominy does sound tempting to try. The garnishes send this dish right over the top, so pile ’em on in whatever combination you like—the beauty of this comforting stew is making it your own.
Chicken Pozole Chili
- 1 whole chicken , cooked and shredded (about 6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 1-2 large poblano chiles , chopped fine
- 1 1/2 cups green chilies (fresh Anaheim or canned green chilies) -- chopped
- 1 red bell pepper ,stem and seeds removed, chopped fine
- 6 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups stewed tomatoes -- , coarsely chopped
- 2 corn tortillas chopped into small pieces
- 3 cups hominy , drained and rinsed
- 8 cups chicken stock
- piece of Parmesan rind , optional (a wonderful addition to any soup)
Garnish with the following:
- Avocado , peeled, pitted, cubed
- Blue corn tortilla chips , crumbled
- Feta cheese
- Fresh chopped tomato
- Pickled or fresh jalapenos , diced
- Bell pepper , sliced or chopped small
- Scallions , chopped
- Fresh cilantro leaves , chopped
- Lime wedges , 1 lime wedge per bowl
- Sour cream
- Cut up chicken into 8 or 9 pieces and boil in water with 1 tablespoon salt for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and let cool until easy to handle. Pull chicken meat from the bones, discarding tendons and skin.
- Shred chicken with two forks or pull apart into bite-size pieces with your fingers (it is okay if the chicken is still a little pink, it will finish cooking in the soup). Set aside or refrigerate if making the soup later. Once the meat has been removed from the bones, return bones to the pot of broth and continue to simmer until broth is needed for the soup--strain before using. This part can be done the day before.
- Heat oil in a large soup pot until hot and covering the bottom of the pan. Add onion and cook until onion is softened, 5-7 minutes.
- Add chili peppers, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook until peppers are softened, 5-7 minutes.
- Add oregano, chili powder, coriander, thyme, cayenne, and salt to the onions and peppers; simmer, stirring, for about 5 minutes to incorporate spices.
- Stir in tomatoes, corn tortillas, hominy, shredded chicken, and chicken broth or stock. Add a piece of Parmesan rind now if you have one (remove before serving).
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes to meld flavors. Add salt, as desired.
- Garnish with any combination of the toppings and a lime wedge. Squeeze lime wedge over chili in each bowl just before eating.