Autumn nights call for venerable one-pot meals, like chicken posole (and all of the chips). Side note: if I could remix a Kanye song, I think I’d remix “All of the Lights” into my own version of “All of the Chips”. I had this Bon Appétit Posole recipe plastered onto the fridge for about a month before actually doing something with it. While my incessant Mexican food indulgences have come to pass with the departure of summer, I still try to get my fix in through soups and chili during the brisker months.
Posole’s roots can be traced primarily to Mexico and were culturally significant (a festive soup) during the Pre-Colombian Era (prior to Christopher Columbus’s voyage). Posole (or Pozolé) is generally composed of meat and chili peppers, nestled in a broth with the classic fixings: avocado, lime, and cilantro, along with hominy. Hominy is an ingredient I have had no experience with, as a patron or cook. Hominy is dried maize, of which later becomes alkalized. Think of a lighter (in both color and in texture) chickpea. I found cans of hominy in the Goya section of my local supermarket, near the black beans, chickpeas, and other legumes.
The major change I made to this recipe was swapping chicken thigh meat for the turkey meat. Chicken thighs are much more flavorful (and cheaper!) and texturally, I prefer it in soups to that of turkey. Have it your way, though. Any broth will do in this case, be it chicken or vegetable. Additionally, if you don’t have a food processor to mix the dried chiles, garlic and tomato paste into chile paste: buy one. That purchase alone will save you time and effort.
The taste of chicken posole seems simple from the onset, but with the lime, cilantro, and avocado accompaniments the posole’s overall flavor is enhanced dramatically. It does not hurt to have salsa and tortilla chips handy — in fact, it’s a must. My first instinct (as is always the case) was to add shredded cheese, but the lime, cilantro, and avocado round out the taste to make it very pure. Bonus points to this one for being composed of primarily whole/real foods.
This recipe yields about 8-10 servings, just enough to get you through another autumn week. Your health is your wealth, after all. Stay warm, folks!
Recipe adapted from the November 2015 issue of Bon Appétit
Yields 8-10 servings
2 dried ancho or pasilla chiles
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 15-oz. cans white hominy, rinsed
8 c. low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 c. shredded turkey or chicken meat (I boiled the thighs for 20-25 minutes)
Freshly ground pepper
Chile paste: Remove seeds from chiles; toast in a dry, small skillet over medium-high heat, turning, until darkened and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Place in a medium bowl. Add 2 cups of hot water; let sit until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup soaking liquid. Pulse chiles in a food processor with reserved soaking liquid, garlic, and tomato paste until smooth.
Soup & Assembly: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add chile paste and cook, stirring, until thick and darkened, about 4 minutes. Add hominy, chicken stock, and chicken meat; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until flavors meld, 10-15 minutes.
Serve with chips, avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges.