For those of you who are not well versed in Mexican cuisine, allow us to introduce you to one hearty and flavorful soup… Pozole Rojo de Pollo . It is a well known, staple party food, even in the summer!
Let’s break this down …
- Pozole means soup or stew
- Rojo is red or red peppers in this case
- de Pollo is simply chicken.
This bold and flavorful soup gets most of its heat and flavor from two dried chilies … Ancho chilies (which are dried poblano peppers) and Guajilloes chilies (which are the dried, and hotter, Mirasole pepper).
Ancho chilies are easily found in most grocery stores, but guajillo chilies can be much harder to find. Your best best is to hit your local Mexican market for the freshest peppers, as well as the hominy.
Pozole is traditionally made with pork, however, it can also be made with chicken, which is what we’ve done here. This brothy, flavorful soup is layered with different textures … the soft, tender shredded chicken, a slight bite to the corn (or hominy) and topped with crisp, crunchy and fresh toppings.Print
TO RECONSTITUTE THE CHILIES:
- 3 Large Dried Ancho chilies, stems removed and deseeded
- 2–3 Dried Guajillo chilies, stems removed and deseeded
- 2 Garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
FOR THE SOUP:
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided
- ½ Yellow onion, diced
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Dried Mexican Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 lbs. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (left whole)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 4 Cups Chicken Stock (low sodium)
- 1 (25-oz. can) Hominy, with liquid
- Sliced Radishes
- Fresh Cilantro
- Squeeze of fresh lime, along with wedges
- Cojita cheese
- Tortilla strips
- Place dried chilies and smashed garlic in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the chilies soften, around 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, around 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Add the spices to the mix (cumin, Mexican oregano, smoked paprika, and cinnamon). Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, or just until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides, around 2-3 minutes per side. Add the bay leaves, chicken stock, and hominy. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a rapid simmer.
- Once simmering, transfer the ancho and guajillo chilies mixture to a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Add this to the simmering pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Partially cover with a lid and cook for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours to give the flavors more time to develop, stirring occasionally.
- Once the soup is flavorful and the chicken is tender, remove the chicken from the pot and shred it using 2 forks. Place the chicken back into the pot and continue until all the chicken has been shred.
- Remove the bay leaves and discard.
- Ladle the soup into a bowl and garnish with radishes, cilantro, Cojito cheese and/or a squeeze of fresh lime.