For November's Secret Recipe Club post I was assigned Lynne Daley's blog Cafelynnylu, and what fun I've had exploring the recipes and admiring her photography. Indeed, so much fun that it was difficult to choose just one recipe. I tried to ignore the tempting sweets and focus on a few of the savory selections. Chipotle Cheese Baguettes were tasty, the accompanying Chipotle Butter was awesome, and the Pistachio, Mango and Blood Orange Terrine is still on my must-try list. In the end, the Green Pozole with Chicken was voted our favorite taste treat. The basic broth, whether made with chicken, turkey or the more traditional pork, offers a mellow blend of flavors that provide a nice bowl of soup. It's the handfuls of toppings that add crunch and zest to transform this soup into something beyond special. Oh yes, pozole is that good.
Pozole (or posole) is a go-to favorite in cool weather, its tantalizing aroma draws crowds of taste testers seeking an early sample. If you have the time, prepare pozole the slow-cook way, it can make a difference. Soak dried hominy overnight and then simmer it gently for an hour or two to bloom and soften. Roast/grill the fresh tomatillos and peppers for extra flavor. Use fresh bone-in chicken thighs with skin for even more flavor. OR, if you're in a bit of a hurry, substitute some canned hominy and chicken broth, even deli roast chicken meat and some mild canned chiles. (I'm not a fan of canned tomatillos, I think they taste a bit tinny, but that's just me.) Either way, be prepared for a tasty bowl of comfort. Top your bowl of pozole with a squeeze of lime and a generous handful of "accompaniments" to suit your taste. Do experiment with the toppings, go a little crazy, and enjoy a delicious bowl of pozole.
Note: I omitted pan-roasted fresh pumpkin seeds and jalapeños from my sauce recipe, but you can find Lynne's original recipe at cafelynnylu
Green Posole with Chicken
9 cups water
1 small bay leaf
1 large white onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
3 lb chicken thighs
1 lb tomatillos, husked and washed
1 large poblano chile
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (15-oz) cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
Suggested accompaniments: sliced radish, avocado chunks tossed with lime juice, shredded cabbage, chopped white onion, lime wedges, red or orange sweet pepper chunks, chopped cherry tomatoes and fresh cilantro. Tortilla chips or toasted tortilla pieces and shredded pepperjack cheese are also favorite toppings.
Bring to a boil in a large heavy covered pot 8 cups water, bay leaf, half of onion, half of garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken and poach at a barely bubbling simmer, uncovered, skimming off any foam, until just cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board to cool. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids, and reserve. (Skim fat from top of broth as it cools, if you wish.) When chicken has cooled enough to handle, use your fingers to remove skin and bones, pulling meat apart into small chunks and coarse shreds.
Make sauce while chicken cools:
Roast the poblano, tomatillos and remaining onion under the broiler, browning on all sides. Remove the stem, seeds and membrane strands from the poblano. Purée in a blender with 1/4 cup cilantro, oregano, remaining garlic, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat until hot but not smoking, then add purée (beware, it will splatter and steam). Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup reserved broth and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, hominy, and the remaining cups reserved broth and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (I added a few splashes of Green Tabasco here, but you could offer hot sauce on the side instead.) Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cilantro and serve pozole in deep bowls with accompaniments.Now, click on the link below to see the rest of this month's Secret Recipe Club posts. Really. Do it now.