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Green Chicken

Some of you regular readers may remember that I have an annual October ritual when I purchase my specialty beans for the year ahead. Rancho Gordo, which is my go-to, has a variety of other things on offer from grains to the most excellent of Mexican chocolates. This year, in order to round up my order to include free shipping, I purchased a bag of dried hominy. I had had the canned variety before and thought it might be interesting to taste the real thing. Of course, I tidied the bag away in the pantry and never got around to it.

Even though it is technically springtime, it has been stormy with strong winds. This morning, though it ended up being warmer during the day, it was 40 and gray and strong gusts continued to punctuate the day. I wanted comfort food and remembered the hominy. I also had bits and bobs that I wanted out of the freezer to make room for treats for my son's arrival home from college, and a hankering for something spicy.

All of the above to explain that this recipe is my own, but essentially an homage to any Pozole de Pollo that I have eaten in the past. Here is the recipe I used for the dried hominy which is a bit of a process; I suggest the canned variety for ease of preparation.

3 chicken tenders or 2 thighs

1 large tomatillo

1/2 small white onion

1 clove garlic

1/2 - 1 jalapeno depending on how much heat you like

1 cup baby spinach leaves

2 Tbsps chopped cilantro leaves

1 cup chicken stock

1 Tbsp sour cream

1 Tbsp olive oil

Juice from 1 lime

1 cup cooked hominy for serving

Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 425.

Line a baking tray with foil. Peel and cut the onion into rough thirds, peel and lightly smash the garlic, and quarter the tomatillo. Place all of these on the baking tray along with the jalapeno and drizzle with the oil. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and caramelizing slightly around the edges.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the chicken and the stock in a skillet and poach the chicken over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, about six to eight minutes, turning at the halfway mark. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.

Remove the vegetables from the oven. Taste a tiny piece of the jalapeno to gage heat levels and tip as much of it as you think will work for your palate and all of the other vegetables into a blender along with the poaching stock from the chicken, the cilantro, the lime juice and some salt. Blend until very smooth. Taste and add more jalapeno and salt if needed.

Reheat the hominy and stir the baby spinach leaves into the grain in order to wilt them.

Shred your chicken and add it back to the pan in which it cooked along with the sauce from the blender and the sour cream. Stir to combine and heat until piping hot.

Add the hominy-spinach mixture to your serving bowl and spoon over the chicken and the sauce.


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