What is Pozole Verde?
Pozole is a Spanish word and means a traditional soup or stew from Mexican cuisine. As the name says, it truly is from Mexican cuisine, and the stew is made with hominy and pork. Hominy is a kind of maize that is soaked and treated with lime. This stew is basically covered in a chili broth that’s flavourful chili. The stew also includes some kind of meat (usually chicken or pork) and a variety of different garnishings like avocado, chili peppers, cabbage, limes, radishes, and cilantro. Now there are innumerable variations in this basic recipe, hominy is one ingredient that is common to all of them.
However, please do not that this dish very different from the traditional Pozole Rojo, which requires a much longer simmer in the red sauce using chilies. Whereas the Pozole Verde uses the tomatillo base for preparation, so keep this in mind and please do not confuse the two.
We are going to check out the Pozole Verde version today, which uses a tomatillos base. It’s a wonderful dish to have on your list and is quick enough not to feel a dull all-day routine to prepare it.
Preparing the Pozole Verde
The one constant in all these recipes is the key ingredient Hominy. You can make it at home simply by soaking some dried field corn overnight. Leave it in something like calcium hydroxide, which is an alkaline agent. The next day, wash the soaked corn properly and what you get is nixtamalized corn which is easy to turn into a paste by grinding. Another way is to cook the kernels, and either way, you get hominy. Of course, it’s a modern world, and no one has time for all these steps. So you can easily pick up a can of perfectly ready hominy from your local supermarket or order them online. Let us write down the list of ingredients first.
Pozole Verde Ingredients
There are two cooking processes involved and so note down their requirements as below
Ingredients for preparing the stock and chicken.
- 4-8 cups of stock
- 1-2 cans hominy
- 1-2 chicken breasts (approx. 0.7 pounds)
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Black pepper
- 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
- Lime for seasoning
Ingredients for the preparation of the green sauce:
- 8-10 tomatillos (around 1 pound)
- 1-2 poblanos
- One or two jalapenos
- 1-2 white onions
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- a small bunch of cilantro
Please read through the instructions carefully and fully to understand the complete process. It is simple, but do ensure you do not miss out on anything.
- We need to prepare the green sauce first. For this, we use tomatillos and poblanos, wash them and pat them dry and let them go into the oven at 400degrees Fahrenheit. This will take about 25-30 minutes in the oven. Flip the poblanos after 15 minutes to ensure they are evenly cooked, and check the tomatillos. If the tomatillos are getting overcooked, you can take them out of the oven. In 25-30 minutes, the poblanos will get perfectly roasted and will be ready for the next step.
- While the oven is doing its job, you will have enough time to get ready with the other part of the dish. Add some meat pieces like chicken to some stock, add some onions and salt and pepper to a big vessel that can accommodate it all. The chicken pieces should be submerged. You can even add cilantro to the stock. You can use homemade stock, or you can purchase at your convenience. Let it boil at first, and then reduce the heat to simmer and let it cook that way for 2-30 minutes until the tomatillos and poblanos is ready from the oven, once the chicken loses pink color on the inside. Remove the chicken and shred it. Retain the broth as you will need it later on.
Please Note: For a more flavorful dish, it is recommended you prepare the broth at home.
- Let us get some other ingredients also ready now. Take a blender and add to it 4 peeled garlic cloves, 2 peeled onions, 2 jalapenos, and a small quantity of cilantro. Take poblanos out of the oven, let them de steam, and then remove their seeds. Remove their skin as much as you can as there is no taste in it and may not get adequately mixed in the blender. So once this is done, add them to the blender as well. Do the same with tomatillos. Now mix them well into a fine consistency. You may need to do this in smaller quantities if the blender is small. Once ready, this is the base for the green sauce.
- Pour the contents of the blender into a pan with little oil. Cook it for just about two minutes over medium heat, and then add the shredded chicken to the sauce. At this point, the green sauce will start to cook and give off a wonderful smell. Also, also add 1-2 cans (28 oz. cans) of hominy to the sauce. The quantity of hominy used in this recipe will correspond to the dish’s soupiness if you want it to be soupier, use less hominy and vice versa.
- To add additional flavor, add seasonings like Fresh cracked pepper and a teaspoon of Mexican oregano. Add salt to taste, and remember to check the taste. To make a soupier version, add more stock to the mixture. This will not just thin it out but retain the taste and flavors as well. Stock can include high amounts of salt, and so it’s wise to taste the preparation now and confirm if everything is fine and nothing is off.
- Let the contents simmer for around 15-20 minutes, and all the contents look properly cooked. Do ensure to take a final taste of the seasonings before pulling it over the flame, especially if you are cooking it for the first time.
Your dish is ready to serve and relish. Enjoy the preparation while it is still hot, fresh, and giving off the wonderful smell. Finally, you need a squeeze of lime on the dish to complete the taste and a cheese quesadilla for added flavor. This is the basic version, and traditionally, it has been made in this fashion. In itself, it tastes amazing and does not need anything else to add to the taste or nutrition. It’s quite healthy and nutritious.
However, there may be some times when you wish to experiment a bit and make certain changes here and there. There is nothing wrong with adapting the dish, and many people do it to present a slightly different variation. Vegetables are also added to the traditional versions of this dish. We have not covered them above, but we share the information now so that you can benefit.
You can add vegetables such as radishes, cabbage, carrots, beans, and such can be added to make it more healthy and interesting to look at as well. But remember that these vegetables need to be added to the stock along with the chicken so they are properly cooked. The texture and taste of uncooked or semi-raw vegetables may not go very well with the rest of the soup.
They say pozole is healthy and also low in calories. An entire bowl of pozole Verde will be just 140-150 calories. That’s it. It is also very filling and full of nutrition. Because it’s a stew and it has to be consumed hot, it feels very filling and can be used to your mid-day meal, lunch, or even supper. It is, therefore, exceptionally good for weight management for people looking to control their weight.
Just 45 minutes, and your dish is ready. And you will master it in no time. Hope you had fun reading this and will enjoy making the recipe. Bon appétit.