Mexican Chicken Pozole


I wasn’t feeling too great today so I decided to cook something which would be substantial and healing. The spice in this dish sure sweated out of me whatever was making me feel ill. I used some pretty hot chillies as a garnish but this is really your call. It’s got a nice warmth without it but if like me, you enjoy a challenge then spice it on up. Traditionally this dish is made with pork but it tastes just as good with chicken.

Hominy are skinned corn kernels which have been soaked and are swollen like popcorn. The taste is quite unique and they really can’t be substituted. Hunt them out at your local South American deli.


1.5kg chicken (whole)
700g tomatoes (skinned and roughly chopped)
1 bay leaf
4-6 dried red chillies (a mixture of chipotle and cayenne)
1x800g can of hominy (drained, retaining the liquid)
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon passila chilli powder (optional)
2 medium onions (roughly chopped)
1 celery stick (roughly chopped)
Salt & pepper
1 lime (juice of)

Combine the chicken, onion, celery, chillies, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pan. Cover with 1.8 litres of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the chicken partially covered for 1 hour. Remove the chicken and let it cool. Meanwhile add the tomatoes to the pan and simmer again, this time uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Add the hominy to the pan alongside half the retained liquid together with the oregano, cumin and chilli powder (if using). Simmer uncovered for a 30 minutes. Meanwhile remove the skin and shred the cooled chicken with 2 forks. Add the meat to the pan . Cook for 30 minutes adding more hominy liquid if the stew becomes too thick then remove from the heat. Season with salt & pepper to your taste (it may take quite a bit). Finally, stir in the lime juice just before serving.

Serve with lime wedges and crusty bread with sour cream, grated cheese and spicy jalapenos on the side.

  • Dallas

    I make this, but with a slightly different variation that I find works quite nice. Continue this recipe as usual, omitting the pasilla chili powder, and adding a couple of cloves and a cinnamon stick (6cm) to the broth you’re making. Then soak 3 pasilla, 2 chipotle, 3 or 4 guajillo and maybe an ancho too if you’re feeling adventurous. Put them all in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for approximately 1 hour. Peel as much of the skins off as possible, and puree in a blender with the soaking liquid until smooth. Add this during the last 30 minutes of simmering. This is a trick I learned from a mexican friend of mine, and really is much closer to the real thing. The chilis listed are fairly common, and most good spice shops will carry them, as well as any south/latin american shop. Pozole is generally garnished with more dried oregano, shredded lettuce, salsa, and sometimes sliced radishes and avocado. Traditionally these garnishes are put in small bowls on the table, and guests are allowed to garnish their own dish. I’ve also been known to make a bigger batch, and use a half rack of ribs in with the chicken. Fry it all together in a pan with some onion before you add the water and spices to make the broth.

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