We were back from Cabo only one day and I was craving good Mexican food. While there we ate at 5-star restaurants and places that only locals would know about. While I enjoy fine dining, I’m also quite happy eating at the hidden gems. As we pulled up to a tin shack-type structure, other family members had different reactions. “Really? This is where we are going to eat?” I’m a bit more comfortable traveling and experiencing different cultural offerings, so I encourage family to be open to the experience. One by one everyone opened up their mouths  — and their minds — to the feast set before us.

At this particular taco restaurant I was ecstatic to see the smorgasbord of toppings. You order your base taco and then shimmy up to the buffet bar where you find a variety of roasted chiles (at different heat levels), salsa, salsa verde, onions, cheese, guacamole, sliced radishes, etc. Sliced radishes? I had no idea they were served as part of Mexican fare.

Missing Mexico gave me the inspiration for this week’s slow-cooked Sunday meal. A variation of the chili and pork posole I made a month or so ago, this version contains lots of green: cilantro, jalapeno, serrano and pablano chiles, green onion and tomatillos.

I couldn’t find canned hominy in my market, but there was a dried version. I followed the instructions for soaking and no matter what I did, the hominy remained grainy (and just plain gross.) I tossed it out and replaced with habichuelas blancas (small white beans) and frozen corn kernels.

I always use skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Are you worried about having dry chicken without either? Don’t be. Just be sure to use enough liquid to adequately cover the chicken while cooking. And, always use thawed chicken; thawing chicken while cooking on low temperature could aid in developing harmful bacteria and the chicken may not cook evenly.

I put aside about a half of the chicken with verde sauce to save for Baco and Taco Night. (Yes, you read that right. There’ll be a follow-up post on bacon tacos…if they work.)

Chicken Verde Posole

chicken verde posoleWhat you need:

  • 1 lg jalapeño, seeded and halved
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and halved
  • 1poblano chile, seeded and halved
  • 1 lb tomatillos, husked and halved
  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breast
  • 48 oz low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 29-oz can habichuelas blancas (small white beans)
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen corn
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped green onion
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Garnish:

  • Things like shredded lettuce, sliced radishes, guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges

What you do:

  • Heat oven to 425°.
  • On prepared baking sheet, place chiles and tomatillos, cut side down, in single layer.
  • Drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  • Roast for 20-25 min until charring begins.
  • Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
roasting chiles

roasting chiles

  • Heat 2 tbs EVOO in cast iron skillet.
  • Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Sear chicken for 5-8 min on each side.
  • Remove from heat.
searing chicken

sear chicken before adding to slow cooker

  • In slow cooker, add chicken, stock, beans, corn and garlic.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until chicken pulls apart with fork.
  • Remove chicken from cooker, shred, and set aside.
  • In blender, chop tomatillos, chiles, cilantro and green onion.
  • Add 2 c cooking liquid and puree until smooth.
  • Add chicken to tomatillo mixture.
  • Strain white beans and add to chicken mixture.
  • Serve the posole in deep bowls.
  • Place garnish ingredients at center of table to top posole.
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