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Lazy Man's Posole

(recipe, Caroline Cummins)


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Introduction

Posole (or pozole) is nothing more than lime-treated dried corn; when ground, it's the basis for corn tortillas. In its whole-kernel form, it's a deliciously chewy side dish or soup or chili ingredient. You may know it better by its English name, hominy. Posole also refers to a popular stew that typically features whole-kernel hominy, chiles, and pork. At my local taqueria, however, the house posole is an intense chicken soup that's perfect on a cold, rainy day. This is my quick version of that dish, made with leftover shredded chicken, canned hominy, and premade chicken stock.

Ingredients

    Posole
    1. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    2. ½ large yellow onion, diced
    3. 4 garlic cloves, minced
    4. 1 small chile (fresh, dried, or a chipotle chile in adobo sauce), minced
    5. 1 tsp. dried epazote or oregano
    6. 1 tsp. ground cumin
    7. 1 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
    8. 1 qt. chicken stock
    9. 1 can (29 oz.) hominy, drained
    10. ½ to ¾ lb. shredded cooked chicken
    11. Salt and pepper to taste
    Garnishes
    1. Quartered limes
    2. Sliced radishes
    3. Sliced cabbage
    4. Mashed avocado or guacamole
    5. Bottled mole sauce (optional)
    6. Tortilla chips

    Steps

    1. Put the vegetable oil into a large Dutch oven. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat, stirring, until the onion turns translucent. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, for a few minutes; add the herbs, spices, and tomato paste (if using), and cook for another minute or two. Add the chicken stock and hominy, and bring to a simmer. Just before serving, add the chicken. Taste, and correct for seasonings.
    2. Ladle into bowls and serve with the garnishes on the side.

    Note

    Variation: For a thicker soup with more complex flavor, toss a large handful of raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) in with the garlic and chile. After adding the epazote, cumin, and tomato paste (if using), add just enough of the stock to make the mixture slightly soupy. Scoop most of the mixture into a blender and whirr into a roughly chopped liquid, then stir the blender froth back into the Dutch oven. Add the rest of the stock and proceed with the recipe.