Recipe: Chicken Posole
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Jenn So, director of programs at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
When the weather is so variable, a recipe like this for chicken posole, a Mexican stew, hits the spot: it’s both light and warming. The subtle spice and layers of herbs compel us to dream of fresh cut oregano soon to come, while waving a thankful goodbye to winter and stews. When you fill the bowl, don’t forget to leave room for toppings. Sprinkle a satisfying crumble of cotija cheese, add some crunch with shredded cabbage, or up the heat with hot sauce. Dig into the back corners of your pantry, if you dare. The posole will adapt beautifully and you’ll leave the table satisfied, ready to tackle whatever season the day brings.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, skin on and bone in
8 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dry)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (1/2 teaspoon dry)
2 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 (29-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
Some pozole topping ideas: diced avocado, lime wedges, diced red, white or yellow onion, thinly sliced radishes, shredded lettuce or cabbage, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese, hot sauce, tortilla chips.
1. Pat the chicken breasts dry. Sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast in a single layer and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a rapid simmer and cover, cooking chicken for about 7-10 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Remove chicken from Dutch oven and set aside to cool.
4. Add the bay leaf, thyme, oregano, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon of the salt, chili powder, coriander, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes to the broth mixture in the Dutch oven. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered.
5. As the broth simmers, shred chicken from the bone into bite-sized strips, removing skin and cartilage. Set aside.
6. Prepare all the toppings and set aside in small bowls.
7. Add the chicken and the drained hominy to the pot. Raise the heat to medium to warm everything through, about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt or other seasonings if needed. Remove the bay leaf.
8. Serve the soup in individual bowls with the toppings on the table. Garnish as desired. Leftover posole will keep, refrigerated, for 1 week.