Earlier this month we spoke to Ashley Rodriguez – the chef celebrating everything sweet, savoury and salty in her blog Not Without Salt – to try her delicious summer berry dessert. Today, she’s cooking green pozole with chicken – a fresh, nourishing Mexican stew that’s ideal for a late-summer’s evening. The roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add a touch of colour and give the dish its distinctive soft, smoky flavour.
Roasted green pozole with chicken
60 g (½ cup) roasted, salted pepitas, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted (technique in the book)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
280 g (10 oz) tomatillos (about 4 to 5 medium size), peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
1 jalapeño pepper, halved and seeded
10 g (1 ½ cups) chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
590 to 710 ml (2 ½ to 3 cups) chicken stock, homemade (recipe in the book) or store-bought
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
1 (430 g/15 oz) can hominy, drained and rinsed
To serve: any combination of thinly sliced radishes, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro (coriander), pepitas, lime wedges, diced onion, crumbled Cotija, and sour cream or crema.
Grind the pepitas and cumin seeds in a spice grinder or blender until finely ground.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the tomatillos, garlic, onion, and jalapeño to the pot, along with a pinch of salt. Roast in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are charred, caramelized in parts, and tender.
Carefully transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender and process along with 5 g (¼ cup) chopped cilantro (coriander) and 1 teaspoon salt.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot over a medium heat. Return the purée to the pot and cook, stirring frequently until thickened, for 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape up the deeply flavored browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Stir in the ground pepitas and cumin seeds, along with the oregano and 240 ml (1 cup) stock. Bring to a simmer and then add the remaining 360 ml (1 ½ cups) stock, chicken, and hominy.
Let this simmer, mostly covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 5 g (¼ cup) chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt if you feel it needs it. I prefer the pozole to be thick, like a stew, but if you want it thinner, add more stock. Pozole can be made one to three days in advance, and the flavor improves after a rest in the fridge. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Photography by Ashley Rodriguez.