Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pozole! Chicken, Tomatillo and Hominy Stew

I don't remember where I got this recipe, and therefore can't vouch for it's authenticity, but I can tell you that it's very good, makes a huge batch and freezes well.  Perfect too, if you have a plethora of tomatillos growing in your garden (I'm looking at you, Bouillie). It's a great summer soup (stew?), full of smoky, spicy verde goodness and perfect for accessorizing with fresh toppings.  It is a bit high on the spice-ometer but removing the seeds from the chiles or reducing the amount will help if that is a concern for you.

1 lb fresh tomatillos, husks removed, or 3 (11-oz) cans, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
1 (29-oz.) can golden or white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes (I don't drain these)
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 lb cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

If using fresh tomatillos, bring medium saucepan filled with water to a boil.  Discard papery outer layer (if present) and add tomatillos to the pot.  Boil 5 minutes or until soft.  Drain.  Puree tomatillos in food processor or blender until smooth.

If you are using canned tomatillos, eliminate the boiling step and just puree the drained tomatillos.  I've done both and it comes out nicely either way.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  This recipe fills my 4.5 quart dutch oven to the brim, so don't use anything smaller.  A 5 quart pot is ideal.

Add onion to the hot oil and cook 5 minutes or until soft.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add cumin and oregano; cook 20 seconds. Add pureed tomatillos, broth, hominy, tomatoes and chipotle chiles. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low to low. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until thick.

Stir in cooked chicken and simmer another 4-5 minutes until chicken is heated through.  Turn off heat and add chopped cilantro.

Serve with condiments for adding to the top such as chopped green oinion, cilantro, diced radish, sliced avocado, tortilla chips and crumbled queso fresca (I used crumbled cheddar and monterrey jack but only because I had forgotten to buy the good stuff and was too lazy to go further than the corner grocery for a replacement.  Don't be like me.  Get the real deal, it's a million times better).  Lime wedges might also be nice.

Makes 6-8 servings.


Annie Bleecker June 25, 2010 at 8:37 AM  

I always want to buy hominy (and tomatillos for that matter), but I never know what to do with them. Thanks!

I bought tomatillo seeds but I heard the plant needs a lot of sun and takes over your whole yard. Can anyone disprove or confirm this?

Celeste June 25, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

I planted transplants for the first time this year, and the plants do spread quite a bit...I'd say allow at least 3 feet by 3 feet per plant. Mine are sprawling at least 4 feet in every direction, but they're happily intermixed with tomato vines in an unruly but productive mass.

NOJuju June 30, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

I'd just be happy with an unshaded spot in my backyard to grow anything other than cat's claw. I have a massive pecan tree that prevents any real gardening from taking place.

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