Chicken and Green Tomato Pozole

According to Wikipedia, a pozole is a “pre-Columbian stew from Mexico”.   For as long as I can remember I have been interested in history and the origins of certain dishes.   I am fascinated by anything “pre-Columbian” so this one was right up my alley.

For those of you who are slow cooker lovers, this would be simple using skinless, boneless chicken breasts cooked in the poaching liquid, the remaining ingredients added at the end.  I don’t like doing things the easy way all of the time and don’t feel as if I can learn anything by dumping a bunch of ingredients in a pot and flipping a switch so I really enjoyed making this dish the traditional way and the end result was flavorful and unique.  The spiciness was a little weak, however, as the peppers had simmered away most of their heat.  The next time I will add them closer to the end of the cooking process so they can retain a little of their kick or use some minced as a garnish.

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, portioned

4 cloves of garlic, whole

1 large onion, cut into wedges

2 bay leaves

4 c. of chicken stock

2 c. of water

2 tsp. salt

10 peppercorns

1/2 tsp. cumin

2 oz. toasted pumpkin seeds (may be found under the name “pepita”)

3 cloves minced garlic

2 c. diced green tomatoes

2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, minced

1 onion, diced

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. coriander

Salt

1 T fresh cilantro leaves

20 oz. can of hominy

Method:

In a large stock pot, place the first 9 ingredients.  Poach (little or no movement of the liquid) for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the chicken, peel off the skin, pull from the bone and shred.  Set aside.  Reserve poaching liquid and strain.  Keep hot.

In a hot pan, toast the pumpkin seeds until golden.

Grind them in a food processor or nut and spice grinder.

Set aside.

Heat a medium skillet over medium to high heat.  Add the minced garlic, onions, peppers, and green tomatoes.  Saute until softened.

Add 1 c. reserved poaching liquid and simmer until the vegetables are tender.  Puree.

Set aside.

To the remaining poaching liquid, add the shredded chicken, pureed vegetables, 1/2 tsp. cumin, coriander, and salt to taste, keeping in mind that the liquid will reduce over time and the salt will become concentrated.

Simmer 45 minutes.  Add the cilantro leaves, ground toasted pepitas, and hominy.  Season with salt to taste a final time.

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