Red pozole is a comfort food I have eaten a lot of in my time. Not being a fan of large bones in my food, I used to always pick around the meat and go for the broth when I had pozole in Mexico growing up. Piled high with your choice of thinly shredded cabbage, cilantro, sliced radishes, a squeeze of key lime, and with a tostada shell to scoop out what you want, it’s a pretty fine food.
My own variant calls for more….user friendly…cuts of meat, and I never feel obliged to use the traditional pork. In fact, today I am making a pozole using chicken. Since I have a cold and am feeling pretty miserable, I wanted something easy, warm, spicy and chicken-y, and as luck would have it, we had everything necessary on hand.
Easy red pozoleIngredients: 1 large white onion 5-6 large cloves of garlic T olive oil
1 large chicken breast Oregano 1 bay leaf
2-3 smaller guajillo chiles 2 cans chicken broth 1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed (bite me, I don’t care. They work.) Salt and pepper to taste
While chopping the onion, bring a large, heavy skillet to medium heat. Add the olive oil and sautee the onion for 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and cut the chicken breast into 1/2 inch or so pieces. Once the onion begins to brown, add the garlic, stirring frequently for about one more minute. Then add the chicken and stir.
Put the whole dried chiles in a toaster oven for about 4 minutes, until they smell smokey but are not blackened. Remove with tongs and let them cool while you add the broth and garbanzos to the chicken and bring to a boil. This is a great time to add a bay leaf and some oregano.
Holding the chile with tongs to avoid getting burned, cut the stem end off and shake the seeds out. Or leave them in and live dangerously. Drop the chiles in a blender, pour about a cup of boiling water over them, cover, and blend until smooth. You will have a rich, dark reddish-brown sauce. Resist the urge to take the lid off and stick your nose in. It might hurt.
Transfer the hot chicken/broth/onion/garbanzo mixture to a crock pot, and pour in the guajillo sauce. Add some salt and pepper, cover, and leave on low for a few hours while you try to nap and instead blow your nose every ten minutes. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as necessary. If it’s too spicy for your taste, add another can of chicken broth. It’s food, not rocket science.
Serve hot with finely shredded green cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, lime wedges, and tostada shells.
Maybe I’ll post a photo later if I remember to take one.