Hatch Chile Pozole
This is not quite a traditional pozole recipe, though it tastes so good! I remember the first time I was in New Mexico, I was there working at a hospital conversion for their electronic medical record. I had the night shift which meant that instead of sleeping during the day I got to sightsee. I mean when you are in your 20’s who needs to sleep, right? One day, after our shift I remember going to a café and having a Hatch Chile pozole…I think I may had cried. It was so warm, spicy but not too spicy…it was like you were home. Years later I returned with my family and we spent Thanksgiving in Santa Fe. What a magical place! We went to their farmers market and there was where I met Chencho from Chimayo, New Mexico (which by the way Chimayo chile is to die for... that will be another blog post ha). He was selling Hatch Chile in powder and ever since then…I keep it as my secret weapon when making green chile or pozole. Thus when the Hatch chiles are in season…I go all out. There is something so special of using a very seasonal ingredient and then thinking about it when not in season, ha. I hope you get to enjoy this recipe with your family and loved ones.
* NOTE: If you are making it out of the Hatch Chile season, Colorado Pueblo, Anheim or even Poblanos would be a good alternative. I like to make a really big batch and then I do freeze some to have available any given day.
HATCH CHILE POZOLE
6 Hatch Chiles
1 White Onion
5 Garlic Cloves
1 lb of Tomatillo
½ Stick of Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp of Bouillon (I like Knorr you can find it in the Mexican Food aisle)
1 ½ lb of Chicken Thighs
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups of Hominy (if you are cooking your own its best, but it does take time…you can buy nixtamalized corn from Rancho Gordo and then you cook for 1-2 hours. You can also use canned hominy).
• Chopped Scallions (white and green parts)
• Chopped Cilantro
• Roasted Hatch Chiles
• Cotija Cheese Crumbled
If you are cooking your own hominy, start by placing it in a pot with plenty of water. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for an hour or two – you are looking for it to be like flour and tender to eat, but not soft.
Next roughly chop your onions, garlic, Hatch chiles seeds and all, tomatillo. In a Dutch oven melt your butter and add your onions, garlic, Hatch chiles, tomatillos and sauté carefully until the onions are translucent. Sprinkle your bouillon and mix well. Transfer to a blender…I have a Vitamix and I started by pulsing it. No need to add any water. Then I put it in the soup setting and let it do its thing for about 8 minutes. If you don’t have a Vitamix, keep on blending it until it is as smooth as you can get it. Then pass it through a fine mesh prior putting it back on your Dutch oven.
Chop your chicken thighs and remove any extra fat that it may be on it. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your Dutch oven and sauté your chicken until fully cooked. Then add your blended Hatch chile mix. Let is simmer on low and when your hominy is ready add it in simmer for 10 min prior to serving. If you are using canned just add it in and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve with your garnishes and enjoy with some fresh corn tortillas. I paired this with Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc and Viogner White Blend.