For those from the Southwest and Texas, posole needs no introduction. It's a long-simmered, heart-warming, traditional pre-Columbian soup from Mexico that's traditionally made with pig's head, nixtamalized cacahuazintle corn, chile peppers, and meat — usually pork. Filling, flavorful, hearty — posole would seem to be a soup that should be more renowned. But the cooking time associated with traditional posole recipes often deters home cooks; between preparing hominy and boiling the pig's head, many are inclined to put off making the soup. Which is why not so long ago, it was interesting to note one attempt to bottle the soup.
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It's also why this homemade, largely healthy, set-it-and-forget-it recipe for posole verde with chicken is a godsend. Light, flavorful, bright and colorful, it's a delicious bowl of soup to brace against the elements with. Just don't forget the accoutrements. They're the difference between a good bowl of soup, and a great one.
For the Posole
- 1 Cup hominy (soaked overnight)
- 6 Cups chicken stock
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 Pound tomatillos
- 2 poblanos
- 1 serrano chile
- 1 spanish onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 2 limes
- cotija or queso blanco, crumbled
- 8 cabbage leaves
- Cilantro leaves, whole or julienned
For the Posole
You're going to need to soak your hominy in water overnight to soften it up a bit. When you're ready to start cooking, simmer the hominy in water for about 1 hour (or until it becomes toothsome), then remove from heat and drain.
While the chicken is cooking, combine in a blender or food processor: tomatillos, poblanos, serrano, Spanish onion, garlic, and cilantro and purée until smooth. Once the stock has come to a boil and the chicken is cooked through, reduce to a simmer, remove chicken, and allow it to cool so you can shred it with your fingers or use 2 forks. But before shredding chicken, add the hominy and puréed mixture to the stock. Return shredded chicken to simmering stock. Adjust liquid (if there is too much liquid reduce it), and season with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
While the soup is settling, prepare the accoutrements (never underestimate the importance of accoutrements!). Chop the scallions, slice the radishes, cube the avocados, quarter the limes, crumble the cotija, julienne the cabbage, pick and clean the cilantro, dollop out the crema, and arrange for your diners to garnish their plates.
Ladle out portions balanced with chicken and hominy and dig in!