1 (2-pound) bag nixtamal (see note)
6 quarts plus 1 cup water (divided)
6 chicken breast halves (about 4 pounds)
6 1/2 teaspoons salt (divided)
1 pound poblano chiles (about 4 medium)
1 bunch fresh cilantro
2 medium onions (divided)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
6 serrano chiles, sliced (see note)
4 to 6 limes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup or more dried oregano
1 package whole crisp corn tortillas(used for tostadas)
Place the nixtamal in a colander and rinse thoroughly. Pour it into a large Dutch oven or a heavy lidded pot, add 16 cups (4 quarts) water and bring to a boil. Boil gently, loosely covered, 2 hours, or until tender. Do not allow the mixture to boil dry. Enough water should remain at the end of the cooking time to keep the nixtamal moist.
Meanwhile, place chicken in a heavy lidded pot with 8 cups (2 quarts) water
and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer
Strain and measure the broth, adding water if necessary to equal 8 cups. Shred the meat, discarding the skin and bones. Set aside the broth and the chicken.
When the nixtamal is tender, remove it to a bowl. Wash the pot, then return the cooked nixtamal to the pot.
Wash the poblano chiles and discard the stems and seeds. Cut into chunks. Wash the cilantro and cut off the tips of the stems. Place the chiles and cilantro in a blender jar and add 1 cup water. Blend until thoroughly pureed.
Slice 1 onion.
To the nixtamal add the chile-cilantro puree, the chicken broth, the sliced onion, the garlic cloves and 41/2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
Add the chicken and cook 15 more minutes.
Dice the remaining onion and place it in a small bowl. Arrange the lettuce, serrano chiles, lime wedges and oregano in separate bowls, and the crisp tortillas in a basket or bowl.
To serve, ladle the posole into large soup bowls and add lettuce, chile slices, lime juice and oregano as desired, with tortillas to accompany.
Yield: 10 servings
Note: Nixtamal is cooked and softened dried corn.
Per serving: calories: 523; protein: 28 grams; total fat: 8 grams; saturated fat: 1 gram; cholesterol: 44 mg; sodium: 1,608 mg; carbohydrate: 88 grams; dietary fiber: 13 grams
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