Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Fighting winter as best we can: Mom's Chicken Pozole

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London is a cold, grey place lately.  I haven't seen the sun much (which is why you haven't seen nice pics here much), and I'm getting really really tired of finding dresses I can wear over tights/leggings without sitting at my desk all day, pulling at my midriff self-consciously.

On that note, I'm also trying to eat more foods that could be classified as 'healthy.'  Not that I'm avoiding badness altogether (stay tuned for a ridiculous chocolate cake/brownie recipe), but I have decided that one way to warm up in the midst of all this mist is to eat healthy, hearty, delicious soups.  Preferably with chili.

And that's where this pozole comes in.

For the record, the bf set the limes/chili up like this.  Totally not me.

When I'm at home in SF, my mom sometimes makes pozole; this winter we had it for christmas eve dinner.  It rocks my socks (of which I got new, warm ones for my birthday: WOOHOO) right off.  For those not in the know, pozole is a mexican soup made with chicken broth, chili, shredded pork (but we tend to use chicken because it's what we usually have on hand), hominy*, tomatoes, onions, and lime juice.  My mom garnishes hers with chopped red cabbage and sliced radishes, and let me tell you, this is the way to go. 

But even if you're a goof like me and you forget the garnishes, this soup is amazing all by itself, with just an extra wedge of lime for that fresh, tangy kick.  It's just the ticket on a cold night, and tastes even better as lunch the next day.  Totally worth hauling cans of hominy back from New York in our suitcases.

*Hominy, for those of you who have had the misfortune to miss out so far, is a soft puffed corn situation that is altogether amazing, especially in soup, and ridiculously annoying to try to find in the UK.  I had absolutely no luck– maybe one of you can give me an in on a hominy source over here?– and the pozole certainly wouldn't have been the same without it.  Thank the good food lord for trips abroad!

Chicken Pozole (for 4)
     adapted from a million slips of paper in my mom's recipe file

In a large saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil and then cook until soft (10-12 minutes):
     1 onion, thinly sliced
     salt and pepper

     1 32oz can chicken broth
     1 28oz can diced tomatoes, drained
     1 dried ancho chile, thinly sliced 
           OR 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Bring to a boil, then stir in:
     2c shredded chicken
     1 15oz can hominy, rinsed

Simmer until heated through, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in:
     juice of one lime

Serve with more lime wedges, sliced cabbage, and thinly sliced radishes.

Devour and be warmed.

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