In honor of Fall and the closing of National Hispanic Heritage month, I bring you a Chile Verde Chicken Pozole. Traditionally Pozole is made with a red sauce and pork meat. The Guru in our Family of making the best Pozole (and Menudo) by the way is none other than my Mama. So proud of that :). But I'm not sharing her secrets to making a Bomb Pozole yet, for now you can enjoy my Chile Verde version which has turned out to be a big hit. In case you haven't noticed yet, I love Chile Verde.
I should warn you,
this recipe fills a large pot and feeds about 8 people.
It's also perfect for a good cruda (hangover).
4 quarts water (might need one more quart later, depending on your taste)
1 whole chicken cut into sections (you can also use 3lbs pork butt or shoulder meat instead of chicken)
2 1/2 lbs tomatillos peeled and cut into halves
1 whole white onion quartered
4 jalapeños sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and veins removed
4 garlic cloves roasted
2 tbsp chicken bouillon
2 tbsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp ground oregano
1 tbsp salt
1 large can of Mexican style hominy
1 packed cup of cilantro rinsed and chopped
Begin by cutting up the whole chicken into about 8 pieces at least. You can also ask the butcher in the meat department to cut it for you to save some time in the kitchen. Boil the chicken on medium heat in about 16 cups of water until fully cooked. If you're using pork meat, it will take about 1 1/2 - 2 hours to cook the meat on medium heat. Skim off the excess fat that rises to the top of the water every so often.
Once you've started cooking the chicken, in a small pan start roasting the garlic cloves (with skin on) on medium-low heat until they are golden brown and toasted on the outside but soft in the inside when pressed between two fingers.
Remove the chicken from the pot when it's done and set it aside to cool in another bowl.
Add the chopped tomatillos, onion, roasted garlic, and jalapeños to the chicken broth and bring to a low simmer. Cook them for about 25 minutes or until the jalapeños are soft enough to easily mash with a spoon or fork.
While the veggies and garlic are simmering in the broth water, prepare the chicken by removing the bones and shredding it into bite-size pieces. This step is optional of course. Some people like leaving the bones in soups, some people don't like to fuss with getting their hands dirty. Bone in, bone out, it's a personal preference.
After the veggies and garlic have finished boiling and are now soft and mushy, blend everything well.
It may take a few minutes if you are using a hand blender like this one, but it's worth the time if you do it this way because you don't have to take out your blender and transfer everything back and forth. You can, it might be easier for you, I just didn't want to dirty another dish. Especially one as big as a blender. Plus the hand blender is just SO much easier.
Drain the water from the can of hominy and pour the hominy into the soup.
Add the chicken bouillon, garlic salt, regular salt, and oregano and stir well. Bring it back to a low simmer and taste to see if you feel it needs a little more water. Cook another 20-25 minutes.
After the hominy and seasonings have simmered, add the cilantro...
and finally the cooked chicken. Give everything one more good stir and let it continue cooking just until the chicken is back to the same temperature as the liquid. About 5 minutes oughta do it, then turn off the heat.
Serve hot with warm tortillas, tortilla chips, or homemade baked tortilla strips.
Hope you enjoy.