Do you love pozole as much as I do? Have you tried it? Heard of it even? I hadn’t either until culinary school. Its a traditional Mexican soup that features hominy, a type of soaked corn, and seasoned with chiles, lime juice and other traditional Mexican flavors. For my Slow Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Pozole, I’ve taken all the yumminess of traditional pozole and repackaged it in a super-easy-to-make weeknight version.
Now, before I get into the details, I’m going to put in a disclaimer: If you’re searching for the world’s most authentic pozole recipe, you’re in the wrong place. Most authentic red pozoles start with two things: dried chilies soaked in water and pureed to a paste and pork. Well, sorry to say, I did not travel with Chef Rick Bayless to harvest Mexican chilis and then dry them them on the hillside in the Yukatan. Ain’t nobody got time for that on a Tuesday. I’ve lunches to pack and children who need to get to swimming lessons. This is a weeknight soup, so I did what any pragmatic, non-authentic mom-chef would do: I used lots of chili powder. As for the pork, I’m sure it would be lovely but boneless, skinless chicken thighs were on sale and they are super easy to throw into the pot without any butchering, so that’s what I used.
Anyway, this turned out so incredibly great. All the flavor of your favorite Mexican dishes, in a big bowl of warm, hearty comforting soup. Did I mention it’s easy to make? Frankly, the first time I made this Slow Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Pozole, I’d started out with every intention of making tortilla soup. But somewhere along the line I decided to added a bunch of chili powder and it suddenly morphed into more of a pozole flavor. So I added a can of hominy and went with it.
To get things started, I always like to sear my meat and saute my onions and garlic for a bit. I have a multi-cooker that makes this super easy. If you have an Instant Pot or another similar cooker, take the time to do that step first. But if you have a standard Crock Pot (or you’re just short on time) you can skip the sautéing dump everything into the pot. You’ll let the chicken, onions, garlic, spices and broth cook for about 6 hours. I also like to throw in 2 finely diced soft corn tortillas. They add wonderful flavor and help thicken up the broth quite a bit. During the last 30 minutes or so, add in your canned hominy and black beans and that’s it.
Thats also a good time to start prepping all your toppings. Do not skimp on the toppings! They are what make this dish so special! Cilantro, avocado, lime juice, fresh jalapeños, radishes, red onion, crunchy tortilla strips and, of course, Chihuahua cheese (Monterey Jack is a good substitute here).
My family loves when I make this. The house smells incredible by dinnertime. The kids love piling on the toppings (this is how I got Lilly to try radishes), and we never have any leftovers. To me, thats a sign of a successful weeknight dinner. Even if its not authentic.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Black Bean Pozole
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons best-quality ancho chili powder
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 soft corn tortillas, finely diced
Juice from 1 lime
1 16-ounce can hominy
1 16-ounce can black beans
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnishes: diced avocado, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, sliced jalapeños, tortilla chips, diced red onion, Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese
If you’re using a standard slow cooker or if you’re short on time, skip ahead to step three.
- Heat olive oil in a multi-cooker on the “Brown” setting. Sear chicken thighs on both sides until meat is golden but not cooked through. Remove chicken thighs and place on a plate.
- Add garlic and onions to pot and cook until translucent. Add cumin and chili powder and sauté for an additional minute, to bring out the flavors of the spices.
- Add chicken back into pot, along with garlic, onion and seasonings. Cover with broth and lime juice and add diced tortillas. Set pot to cook on “low” for at least six hours.
- During the final hour of cooking, add in hominy and black beans. When soup is finished, season with salt and pepper to taste (you will need at least a couple teaspoons of salt, depending on your chicken broth).
- Serve hot with accompanying garnishes.