Mexican Pozole Verde

The weather here is turning cooler, and that means soups and stews will once again be regulars on my family’s menu.

But heck, who am I kidding, Pozole Verde is so darn delicious that I make it even in the heat of summer.  My husband always teases saying that you’re not really Mexican unless you eat pozole (or menudo or caldo de res, etc.) when it’s 90 degrees out.

Although we eat this year round, pozole verde is a New Year’s Eve tradition in our family.  It is relatively easy to make and can simmer on the stove for hours while we all sit back and enjoy each other’s company.

After years of helping my sister in law make this soup during the holidays at her house, I have finally perfected my own version and I’m ready to share it to the world.

mexican pozole verde

Pozole (also spelled posole) can be made with a red or green broth.  The red broth is made with dried chiles, while pozole verde gets its green color from tomatillos and poblano peppers.

Traditionally pozole verde is made with pork but I prefer using chicken as the protein instead.  Not only is it much quicker to cook, but I just like chicken better in general.

While there are several customizations that can be made to pozole, the one thing that remains true is the addition of maiz pozolero– hominy (though I have been known to leave it out while eating strict on the Keto diet).

maiz pozolero

If you’ve never heard of hominy before, it’s basically dried corn kernels that have been processed with lime (the mineral, not the fruit) or lye.

The kernels separate from their hulls and soften during this process of nixtamalization.

 

Not only is nixtamalized corn used in pozole verde, but also is the base for tamales and corn tortillas, among others.  You could say it’s an essential ingredient to Mexican gastronomy.

So let’s break out the stock pot and get a batch of pozole verde cooking.

Ingredients:

ingredients for pozole verde
For the stock/shredded chicken:

2 skin-on, bone-in split chicken breasts
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
¼ onion
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
½  tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbs sea salt
8 cups water

For the stew:

1.5 lbs tomatillos
1 poblano pepper
¼ onion
1 garlic clove
2 15 oz cans white hominy
Salt to taste

Serve with:

Shredded cabbage
Chopped onion
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
Tostadas

Procedure:

 

1. Place the all the ingredients for the stock into a large pot and bring to a boil.

 

split chicken breasts for pozole verde

 

2. Reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour.  The chicken will cook in about 30 minutes, however I like to get a fuller flavored broth and will often simmer the chicken for up to 3 hours.

If you are short on time, forgo this step and use canned chicken broth instead.

 

ready to make stock for pozole verde

 

3. While the chicken is cooking, remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse and place on a foil lined pan along with the poblano, onion and garlic.

 

roasted tomatillos for pozole verde
4. Roast in the oven (or toaster oven) at 400°F for 15 minutes or until charred.  The garlic should be removed around the 10 minute mark.

 

5. Once the tomatillos and poblano are roasted, remove the skin from the poblano and place the roasted vegetables into the blender.  Add salt and liquify. Set aside.

 

salsa in blender for pozole verde
6. Remove the chicken breasts from the stock and let cool.  Then break into large chunks and set aside.

 

7. Strain the chicken stock.  After straining, return to the pot. Bring to a gentle boil.

 

8. Now add the tomatillo mixture to the chicken broth.  I prefer to strain the mixture, as I don’t like the seeds in my pozole, however it’s not necessary.

 

straining salsa for pozole verde
9. Rinse the hominy under cold water and add to the pot.

 

rinsing hominy for pozole verde
10. Let simmer uncovered 20-30 minutes.  The soup should start to turn a deeper color green at this point.  Taste the broth and add more salt to your liking.

 

11. Add the shredded chicken and simmer another 20 minutes or until ready to serve.

 

bowl of pozole verde

12. When serving, top with shredded cabbage, chopped onion, cilantro and avocado if you wish.  It is often also served with lime wedges and tostadas.

 

Pozole verde is one of those dishes that gets better the longer you let it simmer.

 

I often will cook a large pot on Sunday afternoon, then place it in the refrigerator and reheat for Monday’s dinner.  Letting it rest for a day helps intensify the flavors. This dish also freezes well.

Pozole Verde

Warm up with this easy authentic Mexican stew made with chicken breast and a tomatillo based broth. 

Course dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

For the stock/shredded chicken:

  • 2 split chicken breasts bone-in skin on
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • ¼ onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 8 cups water

For the stew:

  • 1.5 lbs tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • ¼ onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 15 oz cans white hominy
  • Salt to taste

Serve with:

  • Shredded cabbage
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Tostadas

Instructions

  1. Place the all the ingredients for the stock into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour. The chicken will cook in about 30 minutes, however I like to get a fuller flavored broth and will often simmer the chicken for up to 3 hours. If you are short on time, forgo this step and use canned chicken broth instead.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse and place on a foil lined pan along with the poblano, onion and garlic.
  4. Roast in the oven (or toaster oven) at 400°F for 15 minutes or until charred. The garlic should be removed around the 10 minute mark.
  5. Once the tomatillos and poblano are roasted, remove the skin from the poblano and place the roasted vegetables into the blender. Add salt and liquify. Set aside.
  6. Remove the chicken breasts from the stock and let cool. Then break into large chunks and set aside.
  7. Strain the chicken stock. After straining, return to the pot. Bring to a gentle boil.
  8. Now add the tomatillo mixture to the chicken broth. I prefer to strain the mixture, as I don’t like the seeds in my pozole, however it's not necessary.
  9. Rinse the hominy under cold water and add to the pot.
  10. Let simmer uncovered 20-30 minutes. The soup should start to turn a deeper color green at this point. Taste the broth and add more salt to your liking.
  11. Add the shredded chicken and simmer another 20 minutes or until ready to serve.
  12. When serving, top with shredded cabbage, chopped onion, cilantro and avocado if you wish. It is often also served with lime wedges and tostadas.

Authentic Mexican pozole verde with chicken

Looking for more authentic Mexican recipes?  Try my recipe for Chiles Rellenos!

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