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Red Pozole with Chicken (Pozole Rojo Con Pollo)


This Mexican stew featuring chiles and hominy is perfect party food: it feeds a crowd and the toppings passed around the table add to the festive nature of the dish. It’s traditional to serve the chicken in whole pieces, but you can also pull the cooked chicken off the bone and add the meat back to the stew, as you might for a chili.

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  • 1 pound beefsteak tomatoes, cored (about 2)
  • 8 large (5 - 6 inch) dried guajillo chiles (1 1/2 to 2 ounces) wiped clean with a damp paper towel
  • 2 1/2 cups cloves garlic, peeled (about 20 medium)
  • 1 small white onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 314 pounds poblano chiles (about 2 large)
  • 6 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-3 ounces fresh cilantro
  • 5 (6 inch) fresh mint sprigs
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans hominy, preferably white, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce, cored and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 6 - 8 medium radishes, trimmed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 limes, cut in thirds
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 3/4 teaspoon chile de árbol powder or cayenne
  • Kosher salt


Servings 6
Adapted from


Step 1

Make the chile sauce:

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 500°F (or heat a toaster oven). Cut a small X through the skin on the bottom of each tomato. Put the tomatoes on a small, rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and roast until tender and well charred, 20 to 25 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, pull off and discard the skin.

Heat a comal, a griddle, or a heavy-duty skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Toast half of the guajillo chiles, flipping and pressing them down with tongs or a spatula until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining chiles. Cover the chiles with cold water and soak until softened, about 30 minutes.

While the chiles soak, toast the garlic and onion on the comal over medium-low heat until just tender, turning the garlic as needed and flipping the onion slices once, until golden-brown with some blackened spots, about 8 minutes for the garlic and 15 minutes for the onion.

Drain the chiles and put them in a blender along with the tomatoes and any juice, the garlic, onion, cloves, and allspice. Purée, adding up to 1/2 cup water a little at a time as necessary, until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

In a 6-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the purée (it will splatter), reduce the heat to low and fry, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, until slightly thicker, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water, raise the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, and 1 tablespoon. salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook,  stirring occasionally and adding a little water as needed to keep the sauce more or less at the same consistency, for 30 minutes.

Make the pozole:

Add the chicken, chicken broth, oregano, and 1 tablespoon salt to the pot of chile sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Tie the cilantro and mint together with kitchen string. Add the herb bouquet and the hominy to the pot and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through (cut into a piece to check), about 20 minutes. Remove and discard the herbs, then stir in the poblanos and cook until just heated through, about 5 minutes.

Make Ahead Tips:

The chile sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead. Let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat gently before proceeding.

You can also make the stew start to finish the day before and reheat it just before serving.

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