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Chicken Pozole

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: While pozole is a beloved Mexican dish, here in the frozen North this deeply flavorful, warming bowl, with tender chicken and hominy swimming in a red chile-infused broth, hits all the right notes. From Meredith Deeds.


• 1 3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided

• 1 tsp. dried oregano (Mexican oregano, if available)

• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

• 6 c. low-sodium or homemade chicken broth, divided

• 2 bay leaves

• 2 dried guajillo chiles

• 3 dried ancho chiles

• 3 (15.5-oz) cans white hominy, drained and rinsed

Garnishes, as desired:

• Thinly sliced cabbage

• Cilantro leaves

• Chopped sweet onion

• Chopped avocado

• Thinly sliced radishes

• Tortilla chips

• Lime wedges


Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning halfway through, for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of garlic, oregano and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return chicken to the pot with 4 cups broth and bay leaves and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut a slit into each dried chile pepper so they can be opened up and flattened. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Lay them skin-side up in the skillet. Press flat for a few seconds with a metal spatula, then flip them (they may turn a lighter color on this side). Press down again to toast the other side. This process will only take about 20 to 30 seconds per side. The toasted peppers should be fragrant, but not smell burned. If the peppers burn, discard and start again.

Transfer the toasted chiles to a bowl, cover with hot water and let rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all parts of the chiles are soaking. Transfer to a blender with remaining 2 cups broth and remaining garlic and purée until smooth.

Strain the chile purée (to remove any bits of tough skin and seeds) directly into the pot with the chicken. Bring back to a simmer and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is very tender. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces. Remove bay leaves. Add chicken and hominy to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes, until hot. Taste and reseason with salt and pepper, if necessary. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with cabbage, cilantro, onion, avocado, radishes, tortilla chips and lime wedges, as desired.