5 hours 15 minutes
One of my favorite soups I had ever growing up was pozole. I had not clue it was pozole, but I knew I loved it.
My mother started making this Mexican stew, and I figured it must have been her version of menudo, but with chicken breasts instead of tripe. Which I was all for!
I fell in love with this delicious soup ever since, and have perfected the method. It’s a great soup to make special occasions, holidays, or just when you’re craving something warm.
What Is Red Pozole Chicken and Why It’s Different
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup that’s been enjoyed for centuries.
The original Pozole Rojo (Red Pozole) is commonly prepared with pork and a rich, red chili base.
This dish is a staple in Mexican celebrations, particularly during New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and Mexico’s Independence Day.
However, Pozole is a versatile dish, and that’s where our variant—Red Pozole Chicken—comes in.
While traditional Pozole Rojo uses pork, opting for chicken offers a lighter, leaner alternative without compromising on flavor.
Plus, It’s also quicker to cook and easily absorbed into the flavors of the red chili broth, making it something you could put together in an hour (not ideally) if you were really in a bind!.
Can I put Chicken in pozole rojo?
So why chicken in a Pozole Rojo dish? Apart from the quicker cooking time, chicken also provides a unique, subtle backdrop that allows the red chili base and spices to shine.
It also makes the dish equally satisfying but more accessible. A lot of people just don’t eat pork. While I don’t mind pork, it gives my wife a headache, when she consumes too much.
If you’re looking for the same mouthfeel, I would suggest going with chicken thighs though.
By trying Red Pozole Chicken, you’re engaging in a culinary experience that ties back to ancient traditions while embracing modern preferences and nutritional needs.
Want to try chicken pozole in it’s traditional form? Check out my Pozole Verde recipe!
What You’ll Need: The Ingredients
You may need to make a trip to the grocery store to get some of these ingredients.
Before you get the cooking instructions, here’s a look at the ingredients you’ll need.
Pozole Base Portion:
- Garlic cloves – I’m a garlic fan, the more the better in my pozole. I like
- Dried chiles – Start with ancho peppers for a deep red color, then guajillo peppers for flavor, and if you want some extra heat, toss in some Chile de arbol peppers
- Water – This rehydrate the chiles and they will come back to life. Save the water for blending.
- One big yellow onion
- Chicken: Chicken Breasts, Chicken Thighs, or a whole chicken. It’s up to you – for more flavor keep the skin on and bone in until the end.
- Three tablespoons of olive oil
- A bay leaf or two
- Four cups of chicken stock
- 105-ounce can of white hominy
- Two slices of onion
- One tablespoon of Mexican oregano
- Two tablespoons of salt
- Eight cups of water
What You’ll Need: Equipment
A large stockpot or Dutch oven: traditionally, pozole, cooks all day in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. When doing a smaller batch, I like to go with a Dutch oven, and just place it in the oven at 325, It kind of acts as a slow cooker.
A food processor or blender: I prefer a blender for creating my soup base, it blends it more consistently and evenly, giving me a higher yield.
A strainer or cheese cloth: You’ll want to use something like a colander, or a cheese cloth to strainer out the “juice” from the pulp of your soup base.
Slotted spoon: This will help you fish out your chicken so that you can separate the bone and skin from the meat
Large bowl: This helps separating the bones from the meat a bit easier.
Easy-to-Follow Cooking Instructions for Red Pozole Chicken
Preparing the Chili Base
Step 1: Soften the Peppers
- Combine the guajillo peppers, and ancho peppers, and chiles de arbol in a pot with 2 cups of water.
- Boil for about 5 minutes until the peppers soften.
- Tip: Use a lid to speed up the softening process.
Step 2: Blend the Ingredients
- Transfer the softened peppers and water to a blender. Add the large yellow onion, garlic and remaining 2 cups of water.
- Blend until smooth.
- Tip: Start on a low setting and gradually increase to avoid splashing.
Cooking the Chicken
Step 3: Prepare the Stock Pot
- Heat 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
- Add a few onion slices and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Tip: Sautéing onion slices beforehand adds more flavor to the oil.
Step 4: Add the Chicken
- Remove the onion slices and add your chicken to the stockpot.
- Tip: If you have time, you can brown the chicken slightly for added flavor.
Creating the Broth
Step 5: Strain in the soup base
- Hold a strainer over the pot and pour your red chile sauce through it.
- Tip: The strainer helps catch any unwanted pepper skins or seeds.
Step 6: Add Liquids and Simmer
- Add, dry spices, white hominy, 8 cups of water into a large pot. Optionally add in a couple cups of chicken broth, if you’re planning a quicker cook.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to let it simmer for around 4 hours.
- Tip: The longer you simmer, the richer the flavors. Check after 2 hours to adjust seasoning if necessary.
Step 7: Rest and Serve
- After simmering, turn off the heat and let the pot sit on the stove for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Serve with optional garnishes like shredded cabbage, cheese, or avocado slices.
How To Store or Freeze Pozole
Ideally, you’re going to make this red chicken pozole recipe large enough to have leftovers. This hearty Mexican stew tastes that much better the next day!
Pozole rojo can last in the refrigerator up to a week, or can be stored in the freezer for three to six months.
When storing in the freezer, for best results, transfer your pozole into an airtight container, leaving as little air as you possible can. This will prevent any freezer burn, as well as add longevity to how long your frozen pozole will last.
Storing in a deep freezer will also give you some extra time to enjoy this beautiful hominy stew
What Garnishes to add to Chicken Pozole
This is where the fun begins! While red chicken pozole is amazing on its own, it’s really meant to be garnished. Here’s what we love to put in our chicken pozole.
Lime Wedges: the lime juice adds a nice brightness to the dish that you’ll love.
Corn Tortillas: I’ll take some corn tortillas, heated up, or just grab a handful of tortilla chips and crumble them up and add into my posole.
Cheese: I go the un-authentic route and go with cheddar. Go with cotija, or queso fresco if you want to stay on theme.
Cabbage: I love adding red cabbage to my pozole rojo. Adds some fresh crunch to the dish that I love.
Radishes: Another crunch to the soup that is welcomed.
Cilantro: Adds some brightness to the soup. Or some soapiness if you’re a cilantro hater!
Hot Sauce: We always have a bottle of tapatio on hand specifically for this soup. A little heat never hurt anyone!
Sour Cream (Or Mexican Crema) – Not my cup of tea for a garnish, but I know there are some who enjoy it – have at it my friend!
If you’re a Mexican food fan like I am, check out my other Mexican recipes here.
Red Pozole with Chicken (Pozole Rojo de Pollo)
- 5 whole dried guajillo peppers
- 4 whole dried ancho peppers
- 2 whole dried chiles de arbol
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 cups water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 slices onion
- 2 lbs chicken meat skin on, bone in for flavor, can be dark or white.
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp mexican oregano
- 3 whole bay leaves
- 105 oz can white hominy this is that LARGE can you see at the store
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 8 cups water
- In a small pot, place the guajillo, ancho, and japanese peppers in 2 cups of water and boil until soft; about 5 minutes
- place softened peppers with remaining water into a blender with the onion (chopped to blend easier) garlic, and remaining 2 cups of water. Blend until you have a smooth consistency. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot (6 quart or larger) heat olive oil and a couple slices of onion for about 5 minutes. Remove onion and place chicken in the pot.
- Pour your Pozole base into a strainer over the pot. Let the liquid freely come out of the bottom into the pot. You can help this a long with a spoon. you’ll still have a lot of the base left in the strainer, but you’ll want as much liquid as possible to come through into the pot.
- Add salt, pepper, oregano and bay leaves to the pot.
- Add hominy, chicken stock, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let cook for about 4 hours.
- Turn heat off after 4 hours, then let rest for 30 to 60 minutes. Serve with a wedge of lime, shredded red cabbage, sliced radishes, onion, cilantro, and a little tapatio, cheese or jalapenos if you like. Enjoy!