Serve Green Po­zole with Chicken for Cinco de Mayo

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - History - By SaraMoul­ton

Cinco de Mayo hap­pens to co­in­cide with the start of the sea­son for fresh tomatil­los.

Cinco deMayo com­mem­o­rates the Mex­i­can army’s de­feat of the French army in a bat­tle on that date — May 5 — in 1862. The hol­i­day also hap­pens to co­in­cide with the start of the sea­son for fresh tomatil­los. Green Po­zole with Chicken, a tra­di­tional, stew-y Mex­i­can soup — based on a tomatillo salsa — is the per­fect dish for the oc­ca­sion.

Tomatil­los are small round fruits na­tive to Mex­ico that in­deed look like green toma­toes. But they are a com­pletely dif­fer­ent fruit and have a unique, some­what lemony, taste all their own. They’re a key in­gre­di­ent in Mex­i­can green salsa, of­ten served along­side red, or tomato-based, salsa, and very easy to work with. Peel off the pa­pery husk, give them a rinse and they’re ready to go. Then just com­bine all of the in­gre­di­ents for this salsa in a food pro­ces­sor and pulse them un­til they’re finely chopped. If you like it hot, use more Ser­rano chiles. If you like it milder, re­move the ser­rano’s seeds and ribs be­fore adding it to the mix.

As for the po­zole, there are many types — red, green, white, chicken, beef, and pork — but what they all have in com­mon is hominy. Hominy is a kind of starchy field corn that’s been­dried and then treated by soak­ing and cook­ing it in a di­luted so­lu­tion of lye or slaked lime. It can be con­sumed whole (as in this recipe), coarsely ground to make grits, or finely ground to make masa for tor­tillas or tamales. It’s the hominy in po­zole that makes it so hearty.

The pro­tein here comes in the form of shred­ded store- bought ro­tis­serie chicken, which sim­pli­fies its prepa­ra­tion. No one’s go­ing to know or care that you cheated be­cause it’s the gar­nishes that make this dish spe­cial.

Green Posole with Chicken

Start to fin­ish: 1hour (35 min­utes ac­tive) Serv­ings: 4 For the salsa: 8ounces fresh tomatil­los, husked, rinsed and quar­tered (or cut into sixths, if large) 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped scal­lion (white and light green part) 1⁄2 cup lightly packed cilantro, leaves and stems 11⁄2 ta­ble­spoons coarsely chopped ser­rano (with the ribs and seeds) 2ta­ble­spoons veg­etable oil

1ta­ble­spoon fresh lime juice

1tea­spoon minced gar­lic

1⁄4 tea­spoon kosher salt

For the po­zole:

1cup finely chopped onion

2ta­ble­spoons veg­etable oil

4cups chicken broth 31⁄2 to 4cups shred­ded or cubed ro­tis­serie chicken One 30-ounce can hominy, rinsed and drained Kosher salt Shred­ded sharp ched­dar, tor­tilla chips, lime wedges and fresh cilantro for gar­nish Make the salsa: In a food pro­ces­sor com­bine all the in­gre­di­ents and pulse un­til the mix­ture is al­most smooth with some small chunks in it. Make the po­zole: In a large saucepan cook the onion in the oil over medium heat un­til the onion is soft­ened, about 5min­utes. Add the salsa, bring to a sim­mer and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally for 10min­utes. Add the broth, bring to a boil and sim­mer, par­tially cov­ered for 10min­utes. Add chicken, hominy and salt to taste; cook just un­til heated through. La­dle into bowls and serve with all the gar­nishes on the side. Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 536calo­ries; 156 calo­ries from fat; 17g fat (3 g sat­u­rated; 0g trans fats); 157mg choles­terol; 1,042 mg sodium; 28g car­bo­hy­drates; 6g fiber; 4g sugar; 62g pro­tein. Edi­tor’s Note: Sara Moul­ton is host of pub­lic tele­vi­sion’s “Sara’s Week­night Meals.” She was ex­ec­u­tive chef at Gourmet mag­a­zine for nearly 25years and spent a decade host­ing sev­eral Food Net­work shows in­clud­ing “Cook­ing Live.” Her lat­est cook­book is “HomeCook­ing 101.”

SARA MOUL­TON VIA AP

This photo shows green po­zole in New York. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moul­ton.

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