Posole Rojo de Pollo is a classic spicy Mexican chicken and hominy soup that makes a hearty meal on a cold day.
Posole versus Pozole
Here in Southern California I usually see it spelled with an "s", but in Mexico and other areas it is often spelled with a "z".
Same soup, different regional spelling.
About the Ingredients
Ancho chiles are the dried versions of the relatively mild poblano pepper, while guajillos are the dried version of the hotter mirasol pepper.
You should be able to find the ancho chiles in most larger grocery stores, but guajillo chiles might be harder to find in your area. You can try a Mexican specialty market, order online or just use all ancho peppers.
Mediterranean and Mexican oregano are different plants. Mediterranean oregano is in the mint family and is what is labelled as "oregano" unless it specifies "Mexican oregano". Mexican oregano is related to lemon verbana and has more citrus notes to it. Fear not, if you only have "oregano" you can use that. But, you might want to look for some of the Mexican variety to accent your Mexican dishes.
No smoked paprika? Put some paprika in a small skillet and toast it over medium heat for a few minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and not let it burn.
Posole Rojo de Pollo
- 3 large dried ancho chiles (stems removed and deseeded)
- 2-3 dried guajillo chiles (stems removed and deseeded)
- 2 cloves garlic (smashed and peeled)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- ½ medium yellow onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 25-ounce can hominy (with liquid)
- kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 3-4 small radishes (thinly sliced)
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1 large lime (cut into 8 wedges)
- Place dried chiles and smashed garlic in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover. Simmer over medium heat until the chilies soften, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- While the chiles are simmering, heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add ground cumin, Mexican oregano, smoked paprika, and cinnamon. Cook until the spices become fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add chicken and reduce heat to medium. Cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Add bay leaves, chicken stock, and hominy with liquid. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a rapid simmer.
- Transfer the ancho and guajillo chiles mixture to a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Add to the soup and reduce heat to medium low.
- Partially cover with a lid and cook for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours to give the flavors more time to develop.
- After at least 30 minutes, remove from heat. Remove bay leaves and discard. Shred the chicken using two forks while still in the pot. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Ladle hot soup into individual serving bowls and serve with sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, and fresh lime wedges for squeezing.
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Until next time, happy eating!
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