Chicken Posole Soup

I always find that the more grey and chilly the day, the more vibrant and spicy I want my soup to be. It seems that we've had a fair amount of rain in Boston over the past month or so and as a direct result, my soup intake has increased. This soup is inspired by a classic Mexican Posole Stew, but, true to my cooking style, I deviated a bit from the classic to make room for my own special twists.

Posole soup traditionally is a made with hominy, pork and chilies. Hominy, if you haven't had it or worked with it before, looks like a pale, bloated corn kernel. It has a potatoey quality to it but has a very intense corn flavor and it's a nice little surprise to bite into. Additionally, I swapped out the pork for some meaty chicken thighs and I added carrots, for their sweetness, and mushrooms for their earthiness to my soup. Two dried chilies that were plumped up in boiling water and then pureed to round out the soup and contribute not only some spicy heat, but a nice bright hue. Just before serving, the brightness of the soup was reinforced by a couple drops of fresh lime juice as well as fresh cilantro.

Chicken Posole Soup
- 4-5 large chicken bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 can of Hominy
- 2 ancho dried ancho chilies
- 3 large carrots, largely diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carton button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 TBS ground cumin
- 1 TBS ground coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup cornmeal flour
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the pan
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Lime wedges and cilantro to garnish

Boil water in a kettle and pour hot water over the dried ancho chilis. Set them aside and let the chilies plump up (about 20-30 minutes). Removed chilies from water and discard the stems and seeds. Place the chilies in a blender and add a bit of water. Puree until as smooth as possible and set aside.

Coat the bottom of a heavy dutch oven with olive oil and heat until very hot. Using a thick paper towel, dry the chicken thighs and season generously with salt. Place skin side down in the hot oil and sear the outside of the chicken until golden brown and crispy. Set aside the seared meat and add the mushrooms. Heat the mushrooms until cooked through and then add the onions and carrots and a generous pinch of salt. Sweat the vegetables for a couple of minutes and then add the chicken back to the pan. Add the chili puree, cumin, coriander, thyme and bay leaf and then add just enough water to cover the chicken. Add the cornmeal flour and hominy. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce it to simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes and then remove chicken, let it cool, and remove skin and bone, and pull the chicken meat. Return it to the pot and serve with lime wedges and cilantro.


Louise said...


I'm so excited you sent me this recipe. I bought a can of white hominy just yesterday. I've defrosted the chicken thighs and will be making this for dinner. I will add homemade chicken stock instead of water. It was a toss up between this recipe or Chipotle Chicken Stew from The Frugal Chef. My son made the decision. We've never eaten Hominy before. Will let you know how it turned out.

Louise said...

Hello again,

It's cold in V.A. tonight. This was the perfect dinner. The only variation used was boneless, skinless chicken thighs. My broth was a deep red color from the dried Ancho peppers. I served it with Portuguese Rolls. There is only a little left over. I'm sure it will be even better tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Thanks for saying hello Louise, I'm happy to hear the soup turned out well!

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