Chicken Posole

Enjoy Chef Chris Shepherd's take on this traditional brothy Mexican stew.

By Chris Shepherd
Nov 23, 2022
chicken posole
3 Hours
8 Servings

Posole (or pozole) is a traditional Mexican dish of rich, brothy soup or stew made with hominy and meat (typically pork or chicken). Hominy is dried field corn, or maize, that’s been nixtamalized—the process of soaking kernels in lye or lime to remove the hulls and make the inner “meat” tender. Traditionally, this was to keep corn from sprouting in storage, which was essential to make the corn harvest last through the winter.

While that’s no longer quite as necessary, hominy is a staple in many dishes due to its unique flavor that’s more reminiscent of tortillas than the dried corn you may be familiar with. It is available canned and can be purchased at most grocery stores.

This dish comes to us from James Beard Award winner Chef Chris Shepherd’s cookbook “Cook Like a Local” and pairs perfectly with our Dutch Oven. The complex flavors of the hominy, chiles de árbol, and guajillo chiles are given time to develop and meld into a beautifully rich, fragrant broth thanks to the cast iron core and Cloud Cover Lid.

Reprinted with permission from Cook Like a Local: Flavors That Can Change How You Cook and See the World by Chris Shepherd and Kaitlyn Goalen, copyright© 2019. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Julie Soefer.  Published by Penguin Random House.

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Chicken Posole

Enjoy Chef Chris Shepherd's take on this traditional brothy Mexican stew.

Chris Shepherd

3 Hours
8 Servings
  • For the chicken and chicken stock (or substitute 1 rotisserie chicken and 4 quarts (16 cups) store-bought low-sodium chicken stock):
  • For the posole:

    Make the chicken and stock: in a large Stock Pot, combine the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, parsley, and thyme. Cover with 6 quarts cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a light to moderate simmer and cook for about one hour.


    Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl and discard the solids. Measure 4 quarts (16 cups) of the stock and set aside (reserve the remaining stock for another use). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and set aside.


    Start the posole: In a large, dry Stainless Clad or Carbon Steel Frying Pan, gently toast the chiles over medium heat until they darken in spots and begin to smell fragrant, about 2 minutes—move them around the pan to promote even toasting. Transfer them to a small bowl and cover with hot water to soften. Let sit for about 20 minutes.


    Pour 1 can of hominy, including the liquid in the can, into a food processor or blender and blend until it forms a puree. Set aside. Drain the other can of hominy in a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the liquid. Rinse the hominy and set aside separately from the puree.


    Drain the chiles, reserving the water, and remove the stems and seeds. Transfer them to a food processor, add ½ cup of the soaking water, and puree until a paste forms. Set aside.


    In a large Dutch Oven, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering-hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it softens and gets slightly translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until you can really smell it, 1–2 minutes. Add the reserved chile paste, salt, cumin, and oregano and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes to toast the spices. Add hominy puree, drained whole hominy, pulled chicken meat and as much additional reserved stock as you can to fill your Dutch oven (without overflowing when it comes to a boil), anywhere from 10–16 cups. Increase the heat to high to bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.


    To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with some cabbage, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.