Last night, I made a quarter-ish pot of pozole rojo, based on Pati Jinich’s recipe and her 4 minute version.
Broth & chicken: I cold poached 2 chicken bone-in, skin-on thighs (note to self – results were good but this takes FOREVER) with most of a head of garlic. I removed the skin and pulled the cooked chicken off the bone, and then returned the skin and bones to the poaching liquid – with maybe 4 frozen chicken paws. I let simmer for a couple hours, then removed the solids, strained and refrigerated the broth. It looked like about 3 cups total broth, almost two cups chicken.
Hominy: I started with a pound of dried hominy, but lost a quite a bit between floaters and my mishaps with de-hulling. Details are here. Next time I’ll include onion &/or garlic in the cooking liquid. I ended up with about 3 cups of cooked hominy.
Chile paste: working with what I had, I used an ounce of ancho chiles. My bad: I didn’t stem or seed the chiles. After soaking the chiles & blending them with garlic, cumin & salt (I had no cloves or onion), my second bad was not forcing the paste through a sieve. I then fried it. Messy. I made a half-recipe of paste for a quarter-recipe of soup, so, not surprisingly, I only needed about a third of it.
Putting it all together: I combined broth, bite-sized chicken, hominy & about 3 cups of water, brought to a boil, reduced to a simmer. Added a little chile paste, then a little more. Broth was about the right color, and tasted of chile, but was intensely bitter. My dinner guests would be over in just a few minutes – OMG, how do I course-correct? I added some Better than BouillonTM to boost the chicken flavor (the broth wasn’t terribly flavorful to begin with) and suddenly, the broth just worked. Which was good because suddenly, my guests were here.
For the salad plate:
- Quartered limes
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped radish
- Shredded cabbage
- Chunked avocado
- Mexican oregano
- Chili powder
Results: not bad. Resulting soup was flavorful but gritty. I was unhappy about the grittiness. I didn’t let the soup with chile paste simmer for the full 25 minutes – I don’t know how much that affected the taste. I think I still would have had to doctor it.
- Season each part separately to build flavor. Broth & hominy were too bland.
- Pay attention to the details on the chile paste.
- Halve the chile paste recipe again – use a half ounce of chiles.