There are many versions of pozole but one of my favorites is Pozole Blanco. Unlike other pozoles where chiles are a part of the broth, Blanco is broth, meat and hominy and the heat comes from salsa on the table, to be added by the diner. This means you need a really great broth, the kind you can only get by making it yourself.
I hope these instructions don’t sound fussy or laborious. It’s a very easy dish to make but it can take a little time. Save it for a lazy Sunday (the only kind!) or you can make up the different components earlier and add them as you assemble the pozole.
I’ve only had this dish made with pork but I really prefer a good chicken broth so I made mine with a whole, cut up chicken.
Traditionally, you’d have red chile powder, Mexican oregano and limes for serving but I love the purity and freshness of the Manzano salsa and there’s plenty of oregano in both the broth and the salsa. The salsa has our Pineapple Vinegar so limes might be redundant.
Of course you can make this in any kind of large pot but I made mine in a frankly stunning pot from Los Reyes Metzontle. These are the same craftswomen who make our Mixteca bean pot. After it was cooked, I brought it out to the table and served on this small metal brazier with a sterno as we were eating outside and I really wanted the dish to be hot. It was a great night.
Recipe: Rancho Gordo Pozole Blanco
For the broth
1 whole chicken, cut into parts, including the back
1 yellow or white onion, sliced
4-6 garlic cloves, cut in half, skins on is fine
3 Bay leaves
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 stick Rancho Gordo Canela/Soft Cinnamon
3 whole allspice
3 whole peppercorns
Water to cover
For the hominy
1 pound Rancho Gordo Posole/Prepared Hominy
3 slices of white or yellow onion
3 quarts of water
For the Chile Manzano salsa
4 Manzano chiles, seeded and finely sliced
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 tablespoon Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio
1/4 cup Rancho Gordo Pineapple Vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Chile Manzano salsa
Thinly sliced radishes
Quartered limes (optional)
White onion, finely chopped (optional)
Rancho Gordo Oregano Indio or Mexican Oregano (optional)
Rancho Gordo New Mexican Red Chile Powder (optional)
Add the chicken to a large stock pot and add 2-3 quarts of water. Turn the heat to high. Once the water starts to boil, reduce to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer. After about five minutes, check for scum on to top of the water and remove with a small sieve or slotted spoon. Add the rest of the broth ingredients and continue simmering until the individual chicken pieces are cooked through. Remove the breasts after about 20 minutes. Thighs, drumsticks and wings will take about 40 minutes.
Allow the chicken pieces to cool. Remove any remaining skin and shred the meat with your hands.
Strain the broth and reserve. You should have one bowl of shredded chicken and one large amount of broth.
While the chicken cooks, bring the hominy, onion and water to a full boil. Allow the boiling to continue on high heat for fifteen minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low for a very gently simmer and allow the corn to cook through, about one and half hours. Once the hominy is cooked, strain it, reserving both the corn and the liquid.
For the salsa, add all of the ingredients and toss well. Check for seasoning and add salt to taste. Allow to rest while the chicken and hominy cook.
When all the preparations are done, add the cooked hominy and shredded chicken to your pot. Add a total 2 quarts plus one cup of liquid from the chicken broth and the hominy water. 1 quart plus one cup of chicken broth added to one quart of hominy water is a good suggestion but some people prefer all chicken or all hominy. Over medium high heat, cover the pot and bring up to a gentle simmer. Once warmed through, serve in individual bowls and allow guests to dress up their bowls with radishes, lettuce and the Manzano Chile salsa, along with whatever else you choose.