Jr.’s Chicken Pozole Rojo to Feed Your Mexican Soul

Jr. Garcia pozole

I’ve been making my chicken pozole rojo for about five years now, I’d say. I started to tap into my Mexican culture, past and passion for cooking and “reliving” my childhood, if you will. I had started to miss my mom’s cooking, and was getting sick of eating the same old thing over and over again. Plus, I got married in 2015 and have been all about the kitchen ever since.  

I kind of taught myself how to make my pozole with the help of my mom, who is my best friend, and my memory of taste and smells. I thought to myself one day, “Man, I could really use Mom’s pozole right now.”

Restaurants weren’t cutting it. Nothing tasted like home, so I thought I’d bring home to me—in my own kitchen. It was a cold winter night, and I was in the mood for something flavorful, brothy and HOT. Hours later, I was sitting at my kitchen counter squeezing lime into my first go at pozole, and it was AMAZING.

I was so proud and so happy. I called my mom right away, and ever since then I’ve been the sole pozole maker for my family—for holidays and events. I make pozole at least once a month. I get requests for it now from family and friends. I particularly enjoy making and eating pozole during the colder Iowa months, and it is a staple dish for Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

I genuinely enjoy making traditional Mexican recipes. It means the world to me. I have a passion for it, and I love sharing a part of who I am, and where I came from with my husband (who is white) and/or others who have not yet had the privilege of trying authentic Mexican meals.

It makes me happy to see his reaction after taking the first bite of my work, my culture, my history, and seeing a smile on his face fills my heart with joy. Making traditional Mexican food is more to me than just eating and filling our tummies. It goes beyond that. It feeds the soul, and the spirit as well. My favorite Mexican dishes to make are:
1. Pozole
2. Caldo de pollo with Mexican rice
3. Enchiladas
4. Chilaquiles

My heritage means the world to me. It is who I am, and WHY I am. At a younger age, I would tend to run from my heritage and culture. I was afraid of being different, being categorized or being dismissed—not taken seriously. For years I fought to meet and exceed what I thought the world expected of me. Once I reached that goal, I found that I had lost an important part of who I was: Mexican. That saddened me, and left me with a void.

Since then, I’ve done everything I could to embrace my heritage and culture. I celebrate it. I educate others, and I take every opportunity I can to highlight that there is no “normal.” Being different and having a different heritage/background is OK, and should be celebrated! It is what makes the world and humans so interesting.

Jr.’s Chicken Pozole Rojo to Feed Your Mexican Soul

Recipe by Jr. Garcia Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • The Sauce
  • 3 3 ancho chiles

  • 3 3 cascabel chiles

  • 5 5 chiles de árbol—warning: spicy!, adjust as needed

  • 6 6 guajillo chiles

  • 3 cups 3 water, to boil chiles

  • 1/2 1/2 white onion, quartered

  • 2 to 4 cloves 2 to 4 garlic

  • The Pozole
  • 3 lbs. 3 chicken, cut into chunks and skin removed

  • 1 1 white onion, chunked

  • 2 to 3 quarts 2 to 3 water

  • 2 cans 2 hominy , 25 oz. each

  • 1 tsp 1 menudo spice mix

  • 1 tsp 1 cumin

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1 tsp 1 garlic powder

  • Garnish
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 white onion, chopped

  • 3 Tbsp 3 cilantro, finely chopped

  • 2 2 fresh limes, sliced

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 3 3 radishes, thinly sliced


  • La Salsa
  • Cut the stems off the dried chiles. In a medium sauce pan, add the dried chiles with water to cover, about 2 cups. Boil for about 10 minutes until all the chiles are softened.
  • Pour chiles and their water into a blender. Add white onion and garlic.
  • Blend until thoroughly mixed. Add salt to taste. Set salsa aside for later use.
  • El Pozole
  • Add chicken and 2 to 3 quarts of water in a large caserola or Dutch oven. Add 1 white onion for flavor. Bring to a boil and then lower to medium high for 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken is thoroughly cooked. I use chicken thighs OR legs. Feel free to use whichever part of the chicken you like best. Just make sure you remove the skin before cooking.
  • With a large spoon, remove excess chicken fat and frothy film from the top of the boiling water.
  • Add salsa to your chicken until the broth looks red, thick and vibrant.
  • Add hominy. I just keep adding until I get the consistency that I like. I like mine fairly brothy and not stuffed full of hominy so use less than most. But really it’s up to you! Stir.
  • Season with menudo spice mix, cumin, garlic powder and salt, to taste.
  • Let simmer for about 10 more minutes to allow all ingredients and flavors to marry. The stock/broth is so good!
  • Serve with your favorite garnishes. I like to use lime, chopped onion and cilantro.


  • At the end, if it doesn’t taste flavorful enough, add more cumin, garlic salt and regular salt to help bring out the natural flavors. Let it simmer a bit longer to let the spices mix in.
  • Juanita’s hominy is good. I usually buy the HUGE can of it and just keep adding it to the pot until it’s reached the consistency I prefer. Up to you!
  • I like to keep a good balance of all the dried chiles. I’d say I use more guajillo than anything. Then an equal amount of ancho and cascabel. I always remove the dried stems by either pulling them off, or cutting them off with scissors before putting them in the pot with water to boil. Chile de arbol is VERY spicy. I would only add a few of those if you like spice but don’t want it to get too hot.
  • I buy the little menudo spice packets at the Mexican tiendas. I only add about 2 to 3 pinches of that to the broth (after you’ve added the hominy and salsa).
  • Leave the chicken bones in your pozole, after the chicken is cooked. Very authentic that way!
Jr. Garcia pozole
Jr. Garcia pozole
The dried chiles are cooked and ready to blend.
Jr. Garcia pozole
Favorite garnish options for red pozole include: cilantro, lime, onion, radish, cabbage, avocado y muchos, muchos más.
Jr. Garcia pozole
Our pozole maker, Jr. Garcia
Jr. and husband
Jr. and his husband, a true fan of his pozole rojo.

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