Despite having lived in Manhattan for several years, I have only been to Brooklyn a grand total of 7 times. This is largely a result of laziness and my healthy fear of the subway, but it also has something to do with the vibe. It very much pains me to admit this, but I don’t know that I’m cool enough for Brooklyn. Sure, I love “artisan” food and reasonably priced housing as much as the next girl, but I also like Justin Bieber, Domino’s, and Pinot Grigio. Unironically. So, yeah.
However, I am pleased to report that this past Sunday night, I made the trek to Brooklyn to see Jay-Z at the Barclay’s Center. Because we so rarely visit the trendiest of boroughs, my roommate and I decided to make a night of it and do pre-show drinks and feasting at Talde. Logan donned his finest button-down/cashmere sweater combo (reason #186 that we cannot move to BK), and we hopped in a cab (sorry I’m not sorry) to Park Slope.
Dinner was pretty bomb (the crispy rice with yuzu guacamole was a revelation), but obviously the highlight of the evening was Mr. Carter. I’m not the hugest fan of Magna Carta, but Jay killed it, and he managed to work a lot of old favorites into the show. I briefly considered sharing one of the many concert videos I took with you, but unfortunately, I’m singing terrifyingly close to my phone in all of them. I think I do a pretty good job with JT’s part of Holy Grail, but some people claim that I’m tone deaf, so I’ll spare you.
Anyhoo, despite the drunk homeless man that kept petting my vest on the subway ride home, I would call Sunday night’s trip to Brooklyn a raging success. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when I woke up on Monday morning, and I rolled around in bed feeling hungover and uninspired for a while before I remembered something Mr. Z said during his encore: “Every person in this audience has genius level talent. Genius level. You got to figure out what you’re a genius at, and go from there.” My first thought on my genius level talent was “doing my hair” (in case you were curious, Logan’s was “partying”), but for my sake, I’m going to hope it’s cooking. Thankfully, I feel more confident in that genius after whipping up 20-Minute Chicken Posole yesterday afternoon.
This is a pot of fiery goodness, friends, and if you’ve never had posole, you’re in for a serious treat. Posole (or pozole) is a Mexican soup traditionally made with pork shoulder and hominy, but I like to use shredded chicken breast for a couple reasons. First of all, pork shoulder is fatty and chicken is not, so that’s nice. Second, substituting chicken is convenient, since you can just use the breast meat from a store-bought rotisserie bird. (However, if you want to cook your own chicken, that is glorious and wonderful, and I’m very proud of you!)
For those who are wondering what on earth hominy is, please allow me to introduce you to the world’s funkiest version of corn. Hominy is whole corn kernels that have been soaked in a lye or lime solution to remove the bran and germ. This process, called nixtamalization, causes the grain to puff up to about twice its normal size, leaving you with giant corn kernels that taste almost potato-like. I know that description may sound scary and weird, but I’m going to ask you to trust me on this one. Hominy is awesome. Plus, it’s low in fat and calories and packed with B-vitamins, so please get on board.
I’m a die-hard fan of chicken posole because it’s one of those badass meals that’s hearty and comforting, yet leaves you feeling surprisingly light and detoxified. The soup itself is bursting with Mexican flavors, and it’s spicy enough to do some mild sinus clearing, but it’s the toppings that make the meal. You’re going to want to get very, very weird with the toppings, people. Personally, I like to add lots of fresh lime juice, plenty of chopped lettuce, cilantro and red onion, some sliced radishes, and a healthy amount of buttery avocado. Don’t be alarmed if your bowl ends up resembling a taco salad. It’s cool.
The best part about this recipe is that it’s super quick and ridiculously easy to pull off. All you need to do is sauté some onions and garlic with a trio of spices, and then add a little green chili puree, some shredded chicken, hominy, and chicken stock. Let the goodness simmer for ten minutes while you chop up the toppings, and BOOM. You’re done! Unless you’ve had several cocktails or a lobotomy, the entire process should not take you more than 20 minutes. (Even with a severe margarita-lag, I bet you could nail this in 40 minutes, tops. Es un milagro!)
Obviously, the simplicity of 20-Minute Chicken Posole makes it an ideal addition to your weeknight meal rotation, but it’s also a pretty badass choice for casual entertaining. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger group, and I love the idea of setting out the toppings and letting guests pimp their bowls.
If I ever make the move to Brooklyn, I like to picture myself serving this chicken posole at a laid-back Sunday dinner party. Everyone will be barefoot, and we’ll sip craft beers and discuss our genius level talents over steaming, individually assembled bowls of “artisan” chicken posole. After dinner, Logan will perform spoken word, while I serve nightcaps to Jay-Z and Beyonce in hand-blown glasses that I casually made in my spare time. It could happen.
20-Minute Chicken Posole: (Serves 4)
1 can (4.25-ounces) whole green chilies
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can white hominy, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded chicken breast (This is the about the amount of breast meat on a store-bought rotisserie chicken..hint, hint.)
Kosher salt to taste
1 lime, cut into wedges
1-2 cups chopped Romaine
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
½ red onion, minced
1 avocado, diced
Preparing your Chicken Posole:
-Place the green chilies and ½ a cup of chicken stock in a blender or food processor
-Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or pot. When hot, add the minced onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until the onions become translucent and the garlic is fragrant. (Be careful not to burn this mixture, people!)
-Ladle the posole into bowls and garnish with fresh lime juice and toppings of your choice.