20-Minute Chicken Posole

January 14, 2014 | | | | | | |

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20-minute-easy-chicken-posole-2Brooklyn makes me nervous.

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, open space, and funky boutiques 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.

Dinner was amazing (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 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.

20-minute-easy-chicken-posole-1This 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 (you can read more about its history here), 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 fresh 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.

20-minute-easy-chicken-posole-4The 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.)

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 customize 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
For garnish:
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

the-best-easy-chicken-posole-step-3-Puree until smooth. Briefly set aside until ready to use.

the-best-easy-chicken-posole-step-4-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!)

the-best-superfast-chicken-posole-step-1-Add the oregano, cumin and chili powder and cook for 1 minute.

the-best-easy-chicken-posole-step-2-Add the chili puree, shredded chicken and hominy to the pot.

the-best-easy-chicken-posole-step-5-Stir in the remaining 3½ cups of chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

the-best-easy-chicken-posole-step-6-Taste your posole and season with salt.

-Ladle the posole into bowls and garnish with fresh lime juice and toppings of your choice.

20-minute-easy-chicken-posole-6Get VERY weird with the toppings, friends! Fiesta on.


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  1. Christine Koehler O'Connell on July 8, 2020 at 5:44 am

    I have made this recipe 82,000 times! So good and healthy. It is our families go to favorite meal and we load on all of the veggie toppings. I usually use cabbage instead of romaine and even add fresh chopped tomatoes. Today I am going to add some black beans to my bowl before plating.

  2. César Godoy-Aguirre on April 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    How can I incorporate fresh diced chicken breasts into this recipe vs shredded chicken?

    • Serena_Wolf on April 27, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      This recipe is equally fabulous with diced chicken. Simply replace the shredded chicken with 2 diced chicken breasts.

      • César Godoy-Aguirre on April 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm

        I used this recipe in my culinary class and its da bomb! It’s different and delicious. I will never eat red chili posole again.

      • César Godoy-Aguirre on April 28, 2015 at 5:56 pm

        Thanks Serena……:)

      • César Godoy-Aguirre on April 28, 2015 at 8:18 pm

        Actually I used uncooked chicken breasts cut into bit sizes. Red posole is part of my culture. I made the green posole and my family loved it!

  3. Heather Grisham Westphal on October 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve never had Posole before, so I don’t know how objective I can be, but WHOA!! This might me my new favorite soup! And how fast and easy it is to make! The hominy is fun! I’m so bummed I forgot the lime! But I’m hoping my gluten free 6 yo soup lover will find this just as good as I do! It would really make life a bit easier around here. I cut the chili powder in half since its going in the mouth of a 1yo also. Doesn’t seem spicy at all. I couldn’t find whole green chilis, so I used a small can of diced ones. I’m assuming its the same thing. Thanks for this super fast and fantastically delicious recipe!

    • Serena Wolf on October 9, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Heather, I’m so glad this soup was such a hit with you and the fam! I need to work this back into my rotations, stat. And isn’t hominy awesome? Love it.

  4. mark huckabone on October 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    This was great. Thanks.

  5. Carla Briggs on September 16, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    This sounds so good! Just wanted to tell you that cabbage is also delish in it. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

    • Serena_Wolf on September 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you, Carla! Cabbage sounds amazing (and purple cabbage would be pretty festive.)

  6. Megan (The Lyons' Share) on March 31, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I made this tonight and really enjoyed it! Quick and easy, and enough to save for meals during the week. Thanks, Serena!

    • Serena_Wolf on April 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Love to hear this, Megan! I’ve been eating a lot of this over the past couple months based on how well the leftovers keep, so I’m pumped that you’re on board with this!

  7. Maggie on February 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I followed Laura’s suggestion of using green enchilada sauce and it turned out great! Very flavorful and quick/easy to make!

    • Serena_Wolf on February 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

      Awesome, Maggie! Love this new salsa verde trend! So efficient.

  8. Laura Phelan on January 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    This was the bomb. I don’t have a blender or food processor so I used a small can of salsa verde instead of the green chile/chicken stock mixture.

    • Serena_Wolf on January 28, 2014 at 9:23 am

      So resourceful of you! Thrilled to hear of its success. xo

  9. Dixya Bhattarai RD on January 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    i have been wanting a quick posole for so long – thanks for sharing this. I am glad you had a pleasant experience in Brooklyn.

    • Serena_Wolf on January 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks, Dixya! Hope you try this, I love how simple it is.

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