Now that the weather is getting chillier, I've started craving soups more and more. I had recently roasted a pork shoulder for carnitas and we had tacos for a few meals. Something about the squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro made me crave posole, so even though we had been eating Mexican food for a few days, I still wanted those same flavors, but this time in soup.
Posole is comforting in the same way any good chicken soup is - rich, fragrant, chunky, and the cilantro and lime juice add a nice brightness and freshness. I like to cook chicken in chicken broth to make give the soup even more body. You can also boil pork neck bones, ribs or spareribs if you want to make a pork posole, or make the soup and instead of adding the poached chicken back, add some roasted pork shoulder if you have some leftover carnitas and let it simmer for a few minutes to incorporate into the soup. I did a little bit of both - some with chicken and some with my leftover pork.
I really like cumin so the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon. but if you aren't sure you love it that much, start with a teaspoon and you can always add more later.
Makes about 6 - 8 servings
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water (or you can use more chicken broth if you like)
- 2 lbs. chicken legs, thighs, drumsticks (or meaty pork neck bones, ribs or spareribs if you want to make a pork posole)
- 1 x 29 oz. can or 2 x 14.5 oz. cans hominy, drained and rinsed
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp. Mexican oregano
- 1-1/2 tsp. chile powder
- 1 tsp. Mexican hot sauce
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, more to taste
- Chopped cilantro and limes for serving
Salt and pepper your chicken (or pork) pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add sliced onions and saute for a minute. Add the chopped garlic, cumin, and oregano and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add your chicken pieces skin side down. Brown for a few minutes, and then flip over and brown the other side for a few minutes.
Turn the heat to medium and add the chicken broth and water and bring to just a slow boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 35 - 40 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked, skimming occasionally. Remove the chicken and set aside to let it cool down until you can handle it. Add your drained hominy to the broth and let it continue to simmer.
Back to the chicken, once it has cooled a bit, remove the skin and bones and shred the chicken. Add your shredded chicken and stir into the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper or spices as needed. Skim most of the fat from the top of your broth - if you're not serving right away, you might consider cooling down your soup, refrigerating it, and then just scraping off the solid fat.
Serve with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, and sliced scallions if you like, and lots of lime wedges so diners can add lime juice to their tastes. You can also serve with Mexican hot sauce in case some folks want to make their posole spicy. I also like to serve posole with a few heated corn tortillas to dip and eat with it, like you would serve bread with other kinds of soup.