Pumpkin Seed, Chicken, Pork and Hominy Pozole

Living in Switzerland has made finding authentic Mexican food a bit of a challenge.  When cravings hit, I make my own.  Two weeks ago, we purchased a home in Northern California surrounded by both large and small Mexican restaurants.  We are in Mexican cuisine heaven.  That said, I still plan to make an effort to continue cooking the wonderful dishes from this culinary wonderland of a country.  Here is one of my favorites – a thick stew-like dish made with pumpkin seeds, hominy, pork and chicken.

Buy or roast a chicken.  When cool enough to handle, tear bite-size pieces of chicken off the bones and set aside.

Place bones and skin in a pan.  If available, also add a chopped onion, a carrot and one or two stalks of celery.  Cover them with water and simmer for an hour.  Strain the stock and discard solids.  Skim fat and pour the stock into a large pot.  (Alternately, use 2 quarts of good quality chicken stock and cut about 1 pound of raw chicken into bite-size cubes.) Bring to a simmer.

Add bite-size pieces of pork (and raw chicken meat if not using a roasted bird and making stock).

Simmer until the pork is cooked through.  Add drained hominy.

Add cooked chicken to the stock and simmer over low heat.

Gather ingredients for the “paste”.  These include fresh or dried pumpkin seeds, tomatillos in a can (drained),  jalepeno peppers (fresh or pickled), an onion, fresh or dried epazote and crushed fennel seeds (optional).

Place pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat.  When you hear the first pop, shake the pan.  Continue cooking and shaking until the seeds are very lightly toasted.

Place toasted pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor.  Add the drained tomatillos.

Add a peeled and roughly chopped onion and the jalapeno peppers.

Grind on high.

Add one or two cups of the hot broth from the simmering soup pot.  Continue pureeing for several minutes until the mixture becomes smooth.  Some strain the mixture at this stage and discard the solids but I do not mind a textured final dish.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the pumpkin seed and tomatillo puree to the sizzling hot skillet.

Stir constantly.

After several minutes, the mixture will begin to thicken.

In approximately five minutes, the mixture will thicken and become slightly darker.

Stir the paste into the hot soup.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour.  Squeeze in lime juice to brighten the flavor.

Serve topped with diced avocado and lime slices.

 

 

Pumpkin Seed, Chicken, Pork and Hominy Pozole
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup or Main
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-size roasted chicken (purchased or home cooked)
  • 2 quarts / 2 liters water
  • 1 pound / 500 grams pork shoulder (butt) or tenderloin
  • 1 large can (about 28 ounces / 800 grams) hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups (about 12 ounces/ 340 grams) pumpkin seeds
  • (unsalted and toasted or un-toasted)
  • 1 large can (about 28 ounces / 800 grams) tomatillos, drained
  • 2 to 3 jalapeño chiles, seeded and stemmed (or tablespoon canned)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried epazote, crumbled (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Buy or roast a chicken. When cool enough to handle, tear bite-size pieces of chicken meat off of the bones and set aside.
  2. Place bones and skin in a pan.
  3. Cover them with water and simmer for an hour.
  4. Strain and discard solids.
  5. Skim fat and pour the stock into a large pot.
  6. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Add bite-size pieces of pork.
  8. Simmer until the pork is cooked through.
  9. Add hominy and reserved chicken meat to the stock and simmer over low heat.
  10. While the stock, meats and hominy are simmering, make the paste.
  11. Place pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat.
  12. When you hear the first pop, shake the pan.
  13. Continue cooking and shaking for several minutes until the seeds are very lightly toasted.
  14. Place toasted pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor.
  15. Add the drained tomatillos, the roughly chopped onion and the jalapeno peppers.
  16. Grind on high until a paste is formed.
  17. Add one or two cups of the hot broth from the simmering soup pot. Continue pureeing for several minutes until the mixture becomes smooth.
  18. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  19. Add the pumpkin seed and tomatillo puree to the sizzling hot skillet.
  20. Stir constantly.
  21. In approximately five minutes, the mixture will thicken and become slightly darker.
  22. Stir the paste into the hot soup.
  23. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour.
  24. Squeeze in lime juice to brighten the flavor.
  25. Best to make one day in advance to let flavors meld. Serve garnished with sliced avocado.
  26. Can store in refrigerator for several days.
  27. Freezes well.
  28. Note: OK to use use 2 quarts of good quality chicken stock and cut about 1 pound of raw chicken into bite-size cubes. Add raw chicken when raw pork is added to the simmering stock.

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