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Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
A traditional Mexican pozole as printed in our local newspaper today. Nixtamal is dried corn cooked with food-grade lime until it can be hulled. The softened, cooked corn can then be ground into masa for tortillas or tamales. Or it is left whole and cooked further to make pozole by putting the corn into a pot, adding water, and simmering until the kernels "pop" open. Canned hominy may be substituted, but since it's processed slightly differently the flavor isn't quite identical. Mexican-style canned hominy brands such as Juanita's and El Mexicano are processed in the traditional manner. Cooking time may be reduced if canned hominy is used. Supermarkets that stock Latino foods usually carry both canned Mexican-style hominy and fresh nixtamal, which is usually packed in 2 to 5 pound bags and found in the refrigerated section. It's also available at most tortillerias.
- 1 (2 lb) bag nixtamal (canned hominy may be used if unavailable)
- 6 quarts water
- 1 cup water
- 6 chicken breast halves, about 4 pounds
- 6 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 lb poblano pepper (4 medium)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 medium onions, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 6 serrano peppers, sliced
- 4 -6 limes, cut into wedges
- 1⁄4 cup dried oregano (or more)
- 1 package crisp corn tortilla (used for tostadas)
- Rinse nixtamal thoroughly in a strainer.
- Pour into large Dutch oven or heavy lidded pot, add 4 quarts water and bring to boil.
- Simmer gently, loosely covered about 2 hours, or until tender.
- Do not allow to boil dry (enough water should remain at end of cooking time to keep nixtamal moist).
- While corn is cooking, rinse the chicken and place in a pot with 2 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt.
- Bring chicken to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
- Strain and measure broth, adding water if necessary to equal 8 cups.
- Shred meat, discarding skin and bones.
- Set aside broth and chicken.
- When nixtamal is tender, remove it to bowl.
- Rinse the pot and return cooked nixtamal to pot.
- Wash poblano chiles and discard stems and seeds.
- Cut into chunks.
- Wash cilantro and cut off tips of stems.
- Place chiles and cilantro in blender with a cup of water and whirl.
- Slice one of the onions.
- Add chile-cilantro puree, chicken broth, sliced onion, garlic cloves and 4 1/2 teaspoons of salt to nixtamal.
- Stir to combine, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add chicken and cook 15 more minutes.
- Dice remaining onion and place in small bowl.
- Arrange lettuce, serrano chiles, lime wedges and oregano in separate bowls, and crisp tortillas in basket or bowl.
- To serve, ladle pozole into large soup bowls and garnish with lettuce, chile slices, lime juice and oregano and tortillas.