Thursday, October 1, 2015

Roasted Green Pozole with Chicken

Mmmm, fall is in the air.  I'm extatic!  Time to start baking everything with pumpkin, drinking hot chocolate every night and making gobs of soup! I LOVE soup.  My kids pretty much only like the homemade tomato or taco soup variety but we may have to do something about that soon.

Pozole, also spelled Posole, is right up there as one of my favorite soups. This is my third and definitely my favorite posole on the blog (see here and here for the others).  Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup using a rich brothy base with meat, usually pork or chicken, garnishes such as cabbage, salsa, lemon or lime, and it's staple: maize, or hominy.  There is also the red variety made with tomatoes and the green variety, made with tomatillos and peppers. If you can't tell by the color, this posole is verde!

This soup gets it's start by roasting the vegetables, giving it that little bit of smokiness.  Then while it's simmering away with the broth and chicken, you can prep your garnishes. The garnishes are almost my favorite part, they really brighten up the soup and give it a fresh element that is not only eye appealing but mouth appealing too!

Roasted Green Pozole with Chicken
1/2 cup roasted, salted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), plus more for garnish
1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted
olive oil
3/4-1 lb. tomatillos, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 jalapeƱo, halved and seeded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
3-4 cups chicken broth (homemade preferred)
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
1 24-oz can hominy, drained

roasted, salted pepitas
thinly sliced radish
thinly sliced cabbage
fresh lime
crumbled cojita cheese (or similar) 

*Note: I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, just removed the skin before cooking. Either way works fine.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place tomatillos, garlic, onion and jalapeno on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with your fingers.  Bake about 15 minutes or until veggies begin to char.

 While veggies are roasting, toast the cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until they become fragrant; 2-3 minutes.  Grind pepitas and cumin seeds in a spice grinder until finely ground, set aside.

Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a dutch oven and heat over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook a minute or two on each side then remove and set aside on a plate. 

Once veggies are done roasting, cool slightly and slide everything into a blender jar. Add half the cilantro, the salt and blend until desired consistency.  Add another little drizzle of olive oil to the dutch oven then pour in the contents of the blender.  Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently and scraping off the brown bits from the bottom. Add chicken broth, ground pepitas and cumin, oregano and hominy.  Stir to combine.  Gently place the chicken thighs in the pot and simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes.  Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.

Serve warm with desired garnishes.

SOURCE: Adapted from Not Without Salt

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