Pozole Rojo con Pollo (Spicy Mexican Chicken Soup)

Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup or stew. It’s generally a celebratory dish served on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the arrival of the new year, but in some states it’s also a typical dish made day to day. There’s also three different types of Pozole using different bases: Blanco (White), Verde (Green) and Rojo (Red). Pozole Rojo is made with a Salsa Roja which is a blend of rehydrated dried and smoked chillies, namely Guajillo and Ancho which gives the pozole a beautiful spicy flavour and deep red colour. 

White Hominy is a dried white corn (that you can buy canned), which is also key to the pozole. If you can’t find this ingredient, canned chickpeas are your next best option. 

The salsa roja, white hominy is blended with the chicken stock and shredded chicken to make a hearty and spicy soup that is then served in bowls with a whole lot of fresh garnishes on top. You’ll typically find garnishes like: shredded cabbage, avocado, radish, sour cream, oregano, coriander, tortilla chips and lime juice.

Pozole Rojo is hearty yet fresh soup with so much texture and flavour beyond the standard, sometimes boring old soup. I love the contrast of the hot spicy soup with the cold and fresh toppings and the shredded chicken and stock keep it comforting and filling.

Makes- 4 litres of soup, serves 8
Ingredients- 23
Cooking Time- 1 hour and 45 minutes  if you’re making your own stock, 45 minutes if not.
Skill Level- Easy



Chicken & Stock

  • 1 whole @lilydalefreerange chicken
  • 2 sticks of celery 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ red onion, peeled
  • 4 bay leaves

If you don’t have the time to poach the chicken and make the stock from scratch, you alternatively just buy the following and skip steps 1-4:

  • 1 @lilydalefreerange hot roast chicken
  • 3 litres of pre-made chicken stock

Salsa Roja- Red chilli sauce

  • 5 dried Guajillo Chillies, stems removed
  • 4 dried Ancho Chillies, stems removed
  • 6 dried Arbol Chillies, stems removed (optional, add if you want to make it more spicy)
  • 4 dried Pasilla Chillies, stems removed (optional, for more of a smoky flavour)
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • ½ red onion, peeled
  • 2 tbsp of Mexican oregano or common oregano
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of salt 

Other Soup ingredients

  • 1 can (830g) of White Hominy (Maiz Pozolero). If you can’t find this, canned chickpeas are a good substitute.
  • 1 tbsp of sugar and salt to taste.
  • 1 lime


  • 3 tsp of Mexican oregano or common oregano
  • ¼ green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 bunch of red radish, finely sliced
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 bag of Tortilla chips
  • 1 tub of sour cream
  • 1 small bunch of coriander
  • 3-4 limes

Watch the process


  1. Place your Lilydale Free Range Chicken in a large pot of boiling water, and boil for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked half way through. Remove the chicken and place in a separate bowl. Pour out the water, clean your pot and fill it back up with boiling water. Boiling the chicken first helps get rid of any impurities, and will allow for a clearer stock.
  2. Place your chicken back into the pot with the boiling water and add in your carrots, onion, celery, garlic and bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender (the leg meat should start to fall apart easily). Skim any impurities or foam sitting on the top of the stock with a spoon and discard.
  3. Remove all of the ingredients from the stock, strain and place back into the same pot to make the soup.
  4. Drain your can of hominy, rinse well and then place into the pot with stock. Bring to the boil and simmer as you prep your other ingredients.
  5. To make the chilli sauce, place all of the dried chillies into a bowl, pour in boiling water making sure they are submerged. Place a plate over the top and allow to rehydrate for 15 minutes. You’ll know they are ready when the chillies have turned from black back to a deep red and are soft to touch and no longer wrinkly and dry.
  6. For the Rojo sauce,  place the onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and the rehydrated chillies into a blender. Pour into at least 1 cup of your hot chicken stock  and 1 cup of the liquid from the chillies that you rehydrated and blend into a smooth sauce. Add in a bit more stock to loosen the sauce if you need to.
  7. Pour all of the sauce into the pot with the stock and hominy. Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer as you prep the remaining ingredients.
  8. Finely shred your chicken and place into the soup. Allow to simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point the hominy should have soaked up the soup and become soft and tender when you bite into it.
  9. Taste the soup and season to taste with sugar, more salt and some lime juice as needed.
  10. To serve, place the soup into bowls and then top with your choice of garnishes. I went with oregano, cabbage, avocado, radish, coriander, sour cream, tortilla chips and some fresh lime.
  11. Enjoy immediately.

Watch the process



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