5.19.2014

Quick Chicken Pozole + Descanso Gardens

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I am skeptical about 30 minute recipes. Unless you are buying everything washed, rinsed, shredded, and chopped, it's probably going to take you at least an hour to make pozole. Right? Right. But an hour for pozole, delicious pozole, is not bad. It's a lot less than the 5-6 hours I've spent making this soup before.

This chicken version is lighter, fresher tasting. Perfect for spring or summer dinners outside. And because I took zero pictures cooking this soup, I've decided to also share photos of our recent visit to Descanso Gardens. Someone get me a membership there!
Basic toppings - radishes, lettuce, cheese, cilanto, onion, avocado and limes. But, feel free to add whatever else you might have around. Like tortilla chips or pickled carrots and jalapenos.
 They are trying hard to act natural.
 Leftover pozole a few days later. Even more delicious.
Chicken Pozole
Adapted from thekitchn.com
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
8 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dry)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (1/2 teaspoon dry)
2 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 dried chiles, soaked in hot water and pureed
1 (29-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
Posole toppings, use all or some:
Diced avocado
Lime wedges
Diced red, white, or yellow onion
Thinly sliced radishes
Shredded lettuce or cabbage
Diced tomatoes
Diced green or red bell peppers
Chopped cilantro
Crumbled cotija cheese
Hot sauce


1) Pat the chicken breasts dry, then pound them to an even thickness using the bottom of a jar or a meat pounder. Sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper.
2) Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast in a single layer and sear for 1 minute on both sides. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and cook another 10 minutes with the lid still on. Remove the lid, check that the chicken is cooked through, then set aside.
3) While the chicken cooks, bring the chicken broth to a rapid simmer over high heat in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Once simmering, add the bay leaf, thyme, oregano, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon of the salt, chili powder, coriander, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and pureed chiles. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is done.
4) Prepare all the toppings and set aside in small bowls.
5) Tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces with your fingers or two forks (or chop with a knife). Add the chicken and the drained hominy to the pot. Raise the heat to medium to warm everything through, about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt or other seasonings if needed. Remove the bay leaf.
6) Serve the soup in individual bowls with the toppings on the table. Let everyone garnish their soup with whatever toppings they like. Leftover posole will keep, refrigerated, for 1 week.