Chicken Pozole. Pozole, a broth prepared with corn, meat, chili and vegetables, has been a very popular dish in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times.
It is used in the lunches or in the meals because it is a food that provides a variety of nutrients to the human body such as: 228 kcal per cup, of which 44% corresponds to fat (10.92 g), 27% to carbohydrates (15.14 g ) and 29% protein (16.26 g).
Let’s start with the name, the word Pozole derives from the original “Pozolli” which in Nahuatl means foam, because the large, white kernels of corn, when boiled, open like flowers and make an abundant foam. Now, it is not just any corn that is made with pozole, it has to be cacahuazintle and in the past (I still remember my poor mother cleaning the grains every time we asked her to do pozole because they did not sell it so clean) it had to be decapitated, that is, it had to be cleaned to open and burst when cooked with the meat. Currently, this is no longer necessary for many who decide to buy well corn in supermarkets where they already sell it clean. The only thing my mom didn’t have to do was spend two hours taking care of the pot, as it was originally done, where the corn with water and lime was previously cooked and then left to soak in that same water all night for the next to decapitate the grains, she put it to soak in cold water and decapitated the next. It is quite a ritual to do pozole, since the only good thing about modernity is the ease with which it can now be done, and I no longer regret asking my mom to do pozole.
The origin of the pozole is pre-Columbian, and yes, it did indeed carry human flesh, but not because Mesoamericans were cannibals as in other cultures, it must be remembered that the essence of the culture of Mesoamerican peoples was that of being warriors, and part of their religious rituals was to sacrifice war captives to their gods, in some others they must be young and virgins, depended on the deity, but the vast majority were prisoners of war who sacrificed themselves. There are definitely important evidences of this, such as those found in the stories of Fray Bernardino de Sahagún in his General History of the Things of New Spain, in which he tells how during the festivities in honor of the God Xipe Tótec, who represented fertility and the sacrifices,
The recipe for pozole comes from pre-Hispanic times, so its current recipe is a mix of Mexican, European and Asian ingredients. In pre-Columbian times it was made from the meat of an animal that the indigenous bred as a source of meat. This animal is mistakenly thought to be a dog named xoloitzcuintle. These typical dogs of Mexican cuisine were called itzcuintlis and, given the resemblance to the word xoloitzcuintli, it is believed that the latter were consumed. However, what was actually consumed was tepezcuintle or common bales. It was also discovered that a new sauce called sulitl could be made from corn.67
Some anthropologists point out that in pre-Hispanic Mexico, after the ritual sacrifices in which the victim’s hearts were offered to the deities, the rest of the body was cooked with corn and distributed among all the participants in a kind of act of communion or only among certain priests. “It happened as in current bullfights, where everything follows a ritual, but once it dies, the animal is meat,” says Miguel Botella, director of the Laboratory of Physical Anthropology at the University of Granada.6 The research has shown collected recipes of cooking of human meat that the Spanish friars collected during their evangelizing work after the conquest, which indicate that it was never eaten roasted and that it was usual to add it to the pozole. According to the testimony of one of these friars, human flesh “tasted like pork”,
There is a great variety of types of pozole, which can be grouped into two types:
- The whites. They are distinguished by the fact that their base is corn and meat soup, which is served in a large and deep dish, base to which the diner can add a wide variety of condiments, such as red tomato-based red sauces) , green sauces based on green tomato.
- The seasoned ones. They are characterized by being seasoned during cooking, so the dish is presented with a characteristic color, red or green, depending on the ingredients used to season them.
In both cases, other ingredients that enhance the flavor can be added when serving, among them: finely sliced lettuce, finely chopped onion, cabbage, cream to taste, ground oregano, lemon juice, radish slices, avocado , fresh cheese, pork rinds and chili sauce or powder. These ingredients, as a general rule, are placed on the table before the meal, so that each diner is served according to the amount they want, and to accompany it, the use of corn tortilla toast with half cream is traditional. The most common names and types are the so-called white and green of Guerrero and the red of Sinaloa and Jalisco.
The specialty of this dish is that the corn kernels used are of a particular large-grain variety called cacahuacintle, and that such kernels are precooked in a light solution of calcium hydroxide (lime) water known as nixtamalization – the same process used in the American continent for the elaboration of the omelette. This precooking, which lasts a couple of hours, causes the corn kernels to lose the fibrous husk that covers them naturally. Once the precooking of the corn kernels is finished, the lime solution is removed and the kernels are washed, to proceed to a second cooking of several hours, until the corn kernels explode. Although the popping process is analogous to that of popcorn, it should not be believed that it can be clearly perceived when popping occurs. Overcooked corn simply fractures progressively during cooking, and takes on a flower-like shape, with the grain stalk at the center. Once the corn kernels have exploded, it is possible to add the meat so that the stew acquires the taste of pork or beef.
Chicken Pozole Ingredients
For the Chicken Pozole
- 1 kilo of chicken breast without skin or bone
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 liters of chicken broth
- 3 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 4 tablespoons of ancho chili powder (or to taste)
- 3 cups of precooked wells
- 10 toasts
How to make chicken Pozole step by step
Preparation mode Preparation: 20min ›Cooking: 2 hours 10min› Ready in: 2 hours 30min
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until fully cooked through, about 20 minutes, cool, and crumble with a fork.
- Heat the other 2 tablespoons of oil in the same saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, chicken stock, water, oregano, salt, and chili powder. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 90 minutes.
- Add the precooked corn and cook until smooth, depending on the brand, it will take from 15 minutes to 1 hour. Rectify the seasoning and serve hot. Accompany with toast.