Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chicken Posole (Chicken & Red Chile Corn Soup)

Posole is a spicy stew that originates from New Mexico, usually made from either pork or chicken, with a red chile or green chile base, and hominy (dried corn that's been treated in a weak lye solution - available canned in most supermarkets). 

Some years ago, I came across a recipe for "Easy Chicken Posole" which uses canned red enchilada sauce for the base. From there, I started creating my own version, which is pretty nutritious (lots of veggies) but still very flavorful. Since hominy is pretty dense and chewy and I already have potatoes in the stew, I substitute with frozen corn instead. 

3-5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into large dice
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into large dice
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced 
2 pasilla peppers, seeded & diced
2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)
1 16-oz. bag of frozen corn 0r 2 cups fresh corn (4 ears)
1 25-oz can hominy, drained
1/2 bunch of scallion (about 5-6), chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. New Mexico chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 28-oz can of mild or medium red enchilada sauce
32-oz unsalted chicken broth (you can use low-sodium, but cut down on the salt accordingly)
8 cups water

Diced avocado (sprinkled with lemon or lime juice)
Lime wedges
Tortilla strips

1. Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large stock pot and add onion. Saute over high heat for 5-6 minutes until they start to brown. 

2. Add diced chicken and minced garlic. Turn heat down to medium high, and cook for 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and juices are released. Add diced tomatoes & stir briefly. 

3. Add carrots, peppers & corn, celery & hominy. Stir well. 

4. Add chicken broth, 8 cups of water, and enchilada sauce. Stir in salt, sugar, spices, the chopped scallion & cilantro. Bring stew up to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour. 

5. To serve, ladle stew into bowls and garnish with diced avocado, tortilla strips or chips, the reserved scallion & cilantro, and lime wedges on the side. This stew tastes even better the next day.

Red Bell Pepper, chopped onion, Pasilla Peppers.

Dice the peppers.

Peel and dice carrots.

Garlic, 1/2 bunch of cilantro, and 1/2 bunch scallions.

Mince garlic, and chop the cilantro and scallion.

Cut tomatoes into large dice.

From bottom, clockwise: granulated garlic, New Mexico Chile powder, black pepper, cumin, kosher salt, minced fresh garlic, and (center) Mexican oregano.

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Trim the chicken of fat, etc., and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Saute onion in 1 tbsp. of olive oil in large stock pot over high heat. 

Add the chicken and garlic, then turn heat down to medium-high. Cook 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Use your favorite brand of red enchilada sauce and no or low sodium chicken broth.

Add diced tomatoes.

Add diced peppers (if you like your peppers to have more texture, add these later, about 30 minutes before the stew is done).

Add diced carrots.

Add the corn and hominy.

Stir in chicken broth.

Next add the enchilada sauce.

Add 8 cups of water.

Add spices.

Add cilantro & scallion. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

To serve, ladle stew in bowl and garnish with avocado slices, tortilla strips, extra cilantro & scallion, and lime wedges on the side. 


  1. I am making this tonight -second time I've made it-SO GOOD!!