Hometown Recipes: Chicken Posole
By: Erin Walgamuth
I started making this delicious Mexican chicken stew about 15 years ago. It has been the main dish for many a big party and even for Christmas Day dinner! The wonderful thing about this stew is that you can make it your own by adding different spice combinations or anything else that sounds good to you. Many people make this dish with pork instead of chicken, but this one is our favorite.
I usually make the Posole the day before I want to serve it, as it is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day. I typically have an assortment of toppings for our guests to choose from, such as crumbled queso fresco, sliced radishes, chopped olives, diced red onion, diced jalapeños, salsa, sour cream and cilantro.
I think this is a wonderful stew to make on a rainy day!
Prep-time about 20 minutes, cook time about 55 minutes
You will need:
6 quart pot with lid
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 ½ pounds of thinly sliced, skinless chicken breast, Foster Farms has this in packages, or 1 ½ pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs, excess fat removed
1 large yellow onion, stem ends and skin removed, coarsely chopped
6 cups of white hominy, with liquid drained off
2 cups chicken broth
Ground pasilla chili, you can find this in the Hispanic section of your market
Ground cayenne pepper to taste
To make spice mix:
In a small bowl combine; 2 teaspoons salt (kosher or sea salt, I love sea salt), 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons ground pasilla chili, cayenne pepper to taste.
This spice mix is just a suggestion, please feel free to add more of anything or delete the spices you don’t care for. You can always add more spices to the posole as you go along. I usually end up adding more salt and spices at the end as I would rather start off with a bit less than too much.
For the chicken:
8 cloves of finely minced garlic, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 ½ pounds of thin sliced skinless fillet of chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces
For the onion:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 finely minced garlic cloves
Put ½ of a tablespoon of olive oil and 4 cloves of minced garlic in the 6 quart pot. Turn heat to medium low. Stir garlic around in the pot until it starts to sizzle, and then add half of the cut-up chicken pieces. Turn heat to medium. Stir to combine and sprinkle with some of the spice mix to coat chicken. Cook chicken until tender and just done, about 5 minutes. Put cooked chicken into the large bowl while you cook the rest of the chicken. You will have some oil and garlic still clinging to the bottom of the pot. Put ½ tablespoon olive oil and the remaining 4 cloves minced garlic in the pot. Heat on medium-low until garlic starts to sizzle. Add the rest of the chicken and stir to combine. Turn heat to medium. Sprinkle some of the spice mix over the chicken to coat, stir to combine. Cook same as above. Add cooked chicken to the bowl to hold while you cook the onions.
Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 minced garlic cloves in the same 6 quart pot. Turn heat to medium-low. Stir garlic around in the pot until it starts to sizzle, and then add the onions. Turn heat to medium and stir to combine. Sprinkle onions with spice mix to coat and stir to combine. Cook onions, stirring often until they are soft and starting to turn a golden color. Add the chicken to the onions and stir to combine.
Add the hominy to the chicken and onion mixture one cup at a time stirring to combine after each addition. Stir in the chicken broth. Turn heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until warmed through. Sample posole and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
Put the bay leaf in the posole and stir to combine. At this point, I put the lid over the pot at an angle, so the pot is not covered completely. I let the stew simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld. I also taste occasionally and adjust the seasoning to my liking. Remove the bay leaf and discard before serving. Serve hot, in large bowls with your favorite assortment of toppings. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.
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