Pozole

pozole

Serves 6

2½ cups dried hominy
2 medium yellow onions; one peeled and quartered, the other peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic; 2 smashed, 2 diced
5 cups pork stock
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 dried New Mexico chiles
Skin from 1 whole chicken breast
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Sea salt
6 radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro leaves

Cover the dried hominy with water and soak overnight.

Drain the hominy and place in a large pot with the quartered onion and enough water to generously cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered until tender, about an hour. Drain, reserving the liquid.

Return the hominy to the pot along with the diced onion, smashed garlic, pork stock and oregano. The kernels should be covered, so if needed, add some of the reserved liquid. Simmer gently to bloom kernels, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, stem and seed the chiles and toast briefly on both sides in a hot skillet. Place in a small bowl and cover with water.

While the chiles soak, make the cracklings with the chicken skin. Cut skin into strips, removing any shreds of meat. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add skin, seasoning lightly with salt. Stir every 5 or 10 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom. Once the pieces of skin start to get sticky and clump together, increase stirring to break them apart. Keep cooking and stirring until skin turns a deep golden brown and becomes crispy. You can turn up the heat to speed up the process, but be very vigilant. When they’re done, drain on paper towels.

Remove softened chiles from soaking liquid and place in a food processor along with diced garlic, ¾ cup of soaking liquid and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Puree into a thick sauce, adding more liquid as needed. Taste pozole and season with salt. Stir in ¼ cup of chile sauce.

To serve, ladle pozole into bowls and top with a drizzle of chile sauce, sliced radishes, cilantro leaves and cracklings. Pass more chile sauce at the table.

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