Leftover Turkey Pozole

So this might have been more timely right after Thanksgiving, but right after Thanksgiving was like the last crunch of the semester at school, so I wasn’t getting a whole lot of anything else done. But lots of people make turkeys for Christmas too, and frankly, the beauty of pozole is that you really can kind of  make it with whatever you’ve got. :) I personally like it with chicken, and I’ll include that step below – but this is perfect if you’re looking for a good way to use up that leftover bird. (PS – I made the bird this year, and it was freaking AMAZING!! If you’re looking for the perfect turkey recipe – go here) It’s pretty quick and doesn’t require a ton of work. My kind of recipe!


  • 3 large poblano chiles (1 lb. total)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 29 oz can of hominy*
  • 1 1/2 pounds leftover turkey meat (OR boned, skinned chicken thighs)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons ground red New Mexico chiles*
  • Garnishes: sliced avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, and sour cream

1. Preheat broiler. When hot, broil poblanos on a baking sheet until blackened, turning as needed, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile mince the garlic and dice the onions; set aside. Drain hominy; set aside.

NOTE: If you are using leftovers, start heating your EVOO over med-high heat and SKIP to step FOUR. If you’re starting with raw chicken, continue with step three.

3. Cut chicken into 1- to 1 1/2-in. chunks and sprinkle with salt and 1 tsp. oregano. Heat oil in a 5- to 6-qt. pan over high heat. Brown half the chicken lightly, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.

4. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onion mixture and remaining 1 tsp. oregano to pan and sauté until onion is softened, 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave broth until steaming, about 3 minutes. Add ground chiles to pan and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.

5. Add broth, hominy, and turkey or chicken to pan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors, 10 minutes.

6. Remove stems, skins, and seeds from poblanos and discard (I find it’s easiest to do this with my hands. Just pull off the stems and skins, and then carefully open one side of the chile and scoop out all the insides. Once they’re clean, dice the poblanos.

7. Stir poblanos into pozole and cook 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls; top with garnishes. (In case anyone was wondering, I enjoy a LOT of cilantro.)

*You can usually find hominy in your “ethnic foods” aisle at your grocery store. I like Juanita’s but I think Goya tends to be more accessible. Usually you can find Mexican oregano and ground New Mexico chiles in the spice aisle at your local grocer, or again in the “ethnic” foods aisle. They are usually packed in those plastic bags with the green and red paper labels, hanging with all kinds of other stuff like dried pasillas, and corn husks. (There IS a difference between Mexican oregano and Mediterranean oregano, although if you can’t find Mexican oregano it’s not the end of the world.)


Recipe slightly modified from Sunset Magazine

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