Tomatillo Chicken Posole

Green Pozole with Chicken & Tomatillo
Tomatillo Chicken Pozole. Photo © Molly Watson
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings

 This yummy meal-in-a-bowl is great for casual parties—guests can customize their bowls of tomatillo and chicken pozole just as they like. The key to the fun is offering plenty of garnishes to choose from. 

Know that if you can't find fresh tomatillos, the canned ones work just dandy here.

What You'll Need

  • 2 pounds chicken (bone-in, or 4 cups shredded cooked chicken)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (hulled, green pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (fine sea)
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
  • 4 cups broth  (chicken)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried epazote or Mexican oregano
  • 2 cans hominy (about 15 ounces each, rinsed and drained, or about 4 cups cooked hominy)
  • Garnish: sliced or chopped radishes, lime wedges, crumbled queso fresco, shredded green cabbage, cubed or sliced avocado, more chopped cilantro, toasted cumin seeds, minced green onions

How to Make It

  1. If using raw chicken, put it in a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  2. While the chicken cooks, in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, toast the pepitas: Cook, stirring, until they start to brown and "pop" as they toast, about 3 minutes. Transfer the toasted pepitas to a mortar or medium bowl. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool and the cooking liquid to a bowl. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, tear it into shreds from the bones.
  1. While the chicken cools, peel and chop the onion. Return the pot to the stove and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. While the onion cooks, remove de-stem the chiles (you can remove their seeds, too, if you want to mitigate their heat) and chop them. Peel and chop the garlic. Add the garlic and chiles to the onion.
  3. Peel and rinse the tomatillos. Roughly chop them and add them to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until they soften a bit, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth and the reserved chicken cooking liquid (or, if you're using already-cooked chicken, use 2 cups water). Bring to a boil.
  5. While the soup comes to a boil, roughly chop the cilantro. Add most of it to the pot (save a handful for garnish). 
  6. Take the pot off the heat. Add the epazote or oregano, if using. Use a hand-held immersion blender to whirl the mixture smooth; or, working in batches, whirl the mixture in a blender until smooth, and return it all to the pot.
  7. Add the chicken and hominy and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  8. Grind the cooled pepitas in the mortar with a pestle, or pulse them in a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or food processor until finely ground. Stir them into the pozole.

Serve the pozole hot, with whatever garnishes appeal to you. Let everyone add their own garnishes to taste.