{recipe} Red Chicken Pozole

Lately my sister has been making this all the time – and I have been loving it. I finally just had to have the recipe so I could make it myself. It’s one of those hearty soups that’s heavy enough for dinner, but not overly caloric or fattening. The warmth, the red color, and the hint of spice make it perfect for a cold, wintry night.

Pozole (also spelled posole – and pronounced poe-SOH-lay) is a traditional Mexican stew made with hominy – dried maize kernels that have undergone what is perhaps the coolest-named preservation process of all time, nixtamalization. There is evidence that the process–which preserves the corn while boosting its nutritional value–has been kicking around present-day Mexico and Guatemala since at least 1500 BC. You can find canned hominy in the Mexican section of most supermarkets. It has a chewy texture that goes great with the shredded chicken and hot broth.

Pozole is meant to be served with some accoutrements so people can personalize their portion at the table. I serve it with the traditional shredded cabbage and thinly sliced radishes, but I like to bring chili flakes, sour cream, chopped scallions, cilantro leaves, and avocado slices to the table as well. I also buy thick homemade tortillas from a Mexican market and toast them on the gas flame to scoop up the chicken.

Recipe: Red Chicken Pozole 
serves 6


  • 2 large dried ancho chilies
  • 1 Tblsp honey
  • 1 Tblsp white or red wine vinegar
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • flour for dredging
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbslp chili powder (New Mexico style is best if you can find it)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 30 oz. canned hominy, drained and rinsed with water
  • salt and pepper
  • any combination you like of tortillas, avocado, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, and sour cream for serving


  • Fill a medium-sized bowl with boiling water and put dried ancho chilies in the water. Soak for 1 hour. Remove chilies and rinse out to remove seeds and stems. Discard water.
  • In a food processor or blender, puree the chilies with the honey and vinegar. Set aside the puree.
  • Heat oil in a large stew pot or cast iron dish over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge on all sides in flour. Reserve 1 Tblsp of the dredging flour.
  • Cook chicken in oil until browned on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side.
  • Add onion to pot and mix with chicken. Cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and reserved 1 Tblsp of dredging flour to the pot. Add salt to taste (about 2-3 large pinches works for me.) Cook another minute until garlic is fragrant.
  • Add wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up anything stuck to the sides and bottom.
  • Add broth and hominy. Bring to a boil them simmer, uncovered, on low heat for 20 minutes.
  • Add pureed chili mixture and simmer another 20-30 minutes, until chicken easily shreds. Pull out chicken pieces and shred with two forks, then add them back into the stew. Increase heat to high so stew can thicken and reduce a bit.
  • Serve hot with accompanying side dishes.

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8 Responses

  1. martha says:

    I think I just found my christmas eve dinner plan. 🙂

  2. ginny says:

    this is my all time favorite soup, but I make it with pork 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  3. Francesca says:

    This looks great! I was looking for your email address to endlessly thank you for your post about tastespotting badges!! I couldn’t for the light of me figure it out…but now I’m feeling fancy 🙂

    Thanks again!

  4. Ana says:

    Making this right now. Smells amazing already! 🙂

  5. Keith says:

    I wonder — how spicy is this? Recipe looks very tempting. I like spicy but I disliked getting burned. I’ve used Hatch chili powder in the past; it had lots of flavor but wasn’t too hot.