Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Pozole
- 10 tomatillos husked & halved
- 2 poblano peppers seeded
- 1 jalapeño stemmed & seeded
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- salt to taste
- 1 bunch cilantro plus more for garnish
- 4 cups chicken broth divided
- 2 25-oz. cans hominy drained & rinsed
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- queso fresco for garnish
- sliced radish for garnish
Rojo, blanco, or verde. pozole is always a good idea, especially on cold winter nights. This chicken pozole is my low-calorie version that skips the oil and uses only boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Not only is it loaded with goodness, it's one of those easy chicken recipes that puts your crockpot to good use. Simply slow cook it during the day or let it cook overnight for an amazingly flavorful and aromatic meal the next day.
The Sacred Stew
The word pozole comes from the nahuatl language of the Aztecs, and there's a reason stew is such an iconic dish in Mexico. Its origins date back to the pre-Hispanic era, when it was considered a sacred dish prepared only on special occasions. Even today, pozole is popular during special events and the holiday season. And it's two main ingredients, hominy and pork (or in this case, chicken), have a fascinating history.
For most pre-Hispanic cultures, corn was a sacred crop, so the hominy (coarsely ground corn or maize) used in pozole would indeed have been a special ingredient. But we know pigs didn't roam this land before the conquistadores got here, so what protein went into the dish? According to some historical accounts, the Aztecs traditionally made pozole with the flesh of their human sacrifices. After the conquistadores arrived, the Spanish suggested using pork as a non-cannibalistic alternative, and we're very glad they did! I'd like to not dwell on this particular bit of culinary history, so I think I'll just move onto the recipe.
Red, White and Green
Pozole is prepared in different ways throughout Mexico, but the most common types are rojo (red), verde (green) or blanco (white), which vary based on ingredient and region. Red pozole gets much of its flavor and color from the addition of chiles like guajillo, ancho or piquin. The green version, like this chicken pozole, gets its name from the tomatillos and cilantro that give it a freshness I love. White pozole, of course, has none of these ingredients. Notice how the three types of pozole represent the colors of the Mexican flag? There's another famous Mexican dish that does the same thing.
Enjoy this easy-to-make and even easier-to-eat chicken pozole, and if you do make it, let me know how it came out in the comments!