Weeknight Recipe: 30-Minute Chicken Posole

Recipes from The Kitchn

Posole is everything we love about southwestern cuisine. It's fresh and light, spicy and cool, crunchy and chewy: all in one bowl! With summer escapes on the brain, we offer this recipe as a quick weeknight mini-vacation for your taste buds.

Also called pozole, this is basically just a kicked-up chicken soup. Its real magic lies in the garnishes. Stirred into the hot broth, these raw vegetables give a crunchy, fresh backdrop to the chewy hominy and bites of chicken.

The fact that everyone gets to choose their own garnishes makes this soup a fun (and stress-free) family meal or dinner party entree. We've listed a few suggestions for garnishes, but the sky is the limit. Check out our list of Latin American flavors for more inspiration. Go wild!

A few variations for folks wanting something extra: if you have time, cooking hominy from scratch is worlds above getting it from a can. You can find it dried at many Latin markets and you cook it just like dried beans.

Grilling the chicken on an outdoor grill adds another dimension of smoky flavor. Pork is another meat traditionally found in posole—feel free to substitute!

Chicken Posole

Makes 6-8 servings

8 cups chicken broth—canned or homemade
Bouquet garni of 1 bay leaf, 5 sprigs fresh thyme, and 3 sprigs fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 - 1.5 pounds chicken breast
2 cans hominy

Any (or all!) of the following garnishes:
lime wedges
red or yellow onion, diced
radish, sliced thin
cabbage or lettuce, julienned
tomato, diced
tomatillos, diced
queso blanco
avocado, diced
jicama, shredded

In a large pot or dutch oven, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the bouquet garni and minced garlic. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and add the salt, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and chili powder.

Continue to simmer on the stove top until all the other ingredients are ready. Taste for seasoning. If bitter, add another teaspoon of salt. If too concentrated, add a cup of water to dilute.

To prepare the chicken, pat dry and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. In a frying pan or stove-top grill pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes until underside is crispy and golden brown. Flip the chicken and continue cooking until cooked through—another 4-5 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and rest until cool enough to handle.

While the chicken is cooking and cooling, prepare the garnishes and put in individual bowls.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, dice it into bite-sized cubes and add to the broth. Drain the hominy into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Add to the broth.

Bring the soup to a boil to bring everything to the same temperature.

Serve in soup bowls and allow guests to garnish their soups individually.

Related: Recipe: Pineapple Salsa

(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)