Chicken pozole rojo

Chicken pozole rojo

This recipe is based off a recipe on The Kitchn called 30-minute chicken pozole. Let me just tell you, it used to take me about 30 minutes back in the pre-kid days but this time it took longer. I have made this several times and it has always been easy and turned out amazing.

It’s a great weeknight meal. I used to make this when I would come home from work sometimes. I also like that it makes a lot of servings, so for some families there would be leftovers the next day.

This time it took me much more than 30 minutes because I had to start and stop a few times. I started at about the middle of Maggie’s second nap and finished after her bedtime.

I accidentally dropped the lid to the pot I was using at the very end. It shattered into a million pieces. I felt so bad. Maybe I was too tired and therefore careless. I’m trying to learn from my mistakes but not dwell on it.

I hope and pray that I swept every piece up, considering that my baby girl crawls everywhere these days, including the kitchen floor when I let her. We don’t have baby gates because our place is small and I don’t think one would fit well with the awkward way the floor is laid out.

It’s embarrassing to share this very messy moment in my life but I wanted to share in case anyone could relate. When I am tired, stressed, or both, sometimes I’m more clumsy.

Life is messy and no one is perfect. I post cute pictures of my baby on Instagram and Facebook. I stay home with her instead of going to work. I’m not sure if that makes my life look easy or “perfect” to anyone, but it’s not. It’s work but it’s worth it.

Maggie is extra fussy, tired and in need of cuddles lately so she has been keeping me more occupied than on a normal day. She’s entering leap 7, according to Wonder Weeks, if that means anything to you. Basically, she is going through a sudden change in her mental development, similar to a growth spurt, in which she learns new skills and works in old skills that she learned.

She has been waving hi to anyone and everyone, but also to no one. Paul has been watching ghost hunter shows sometimes, so on Sunday when it was just Maggie and I home and she was waving at the refrigerator repeatedly I almost let myself get scared. It’s really cute when she makes people at the grocery store or park smile back at her though.

Although she is usually pretty happy, she has been more fussy than normal and even had nightmares last night. I could tell because when I was holding her after she woke up around 5:45 am, she fell asleep again quickly but then was whining in her sleep. Later Paul told me she did that while he was holding her around 11 that night. Her whines remind me of my old dog Cookie. Is that weird to say?

Well, that’s enough rambling. If you read all that, you must be a friend.

I hope that if you make this chicken pozole rojo, it brings you warmth and comfort. Let it nourish your body and bring peace to your soul. I’ll aim to do the same.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

30-minute chicken pozole

1 to 1/2 pounds chicken breast
8 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dry)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (1/2 teaspoon dry)
2 gloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (29-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
Toppings
Diced avocado
Lime wedges
Diced red, white, or yellow onion
Thinly sliced radishes
Shredded lettuce or cabbage
Chopped cilantro
Crumbled cojita cheese
Hot sauce

Pat the chicken breasts dry, then pound them to an even thickness using the bottom of a jar, bottom of a glass, or a meat pounder. Sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast in a single layer and sear for 1 minute on both sides. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and cook another 10 minutes with the lid still on. Remove the lid, check that the chicken is cooked through, then set aside.

While the chicken cooks, bring the chicken broth to a rapid simmer over high heat in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Once simmering, add the bay leaf, thyme, oregano, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon of the salt, chili powder, coriander, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is done.

Prepare all the toppings and set aside in small bowls.

Tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces with your fingers or two forks (or chop with a knife). Add the chicken and the drained hominy to the pot. Raise the heat to medium to warm everything through, about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt or other seasonings if needed. Remove the bay leaf.

Serve the soup in individual bowls with the toppings on the table. Let everyone garnish their soup with whatever toppings they like.

Leftover pozole will keep, refrigerated, for 1 week.

I would love to hear what you have to say. Leave me a comment and I'll try to write back soon.

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