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An a-maize-ing Christmas Eve Meal

French Canadians eat tourtiere on Christmas Eve (you can find the recipe in the Observer archives). We used to have frozen pizza, as it was something quick to have before church, but something that’s very popular in Mexican culture is the posole, which might often be eaten as late as midnight.

“Posole” actually means maize or hominy (made from corn).

Corn is not only very essential in many North American Native cultures but was seen as being so sacred by the ancient Aztecs that it is part of their creation mythology, as they believe that people were derived and made from corn.

This soup was reserved for a special occasion as it would contain both corn and meat in the same dish.

The first layer is the green salsa, not the kind of green salsa that you find at the back of the fridge after six months, but the kind that’s made from tomatillos, which gives some spice and smokiness. The next is the corn itself adding some sweetness and then blending in either some cornmeal or if you can find the hominy to give it harmony it will add some body.

The idea is to then pour the soup into bowls and pass it around a big table filled with your loved ones (of course this year you’ll only have few other loved ones) and then to pass around bowls of raw garnishes that you can choose to put on top, which not only add some crunchiness but you’d be surprised how well they complement each other. Examples might be fresh herbs, green onion, lettuce, radish, avocado and cucumber.

It’s almost like a soup, salad and entree all at once!

Chicken Posole Soup

Recipe by Chef Duff

It’s almost like a soup, salad and entree all at once!


  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds

  • 1 jar “salsa verde”

  • 2 cups corn

  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

  • 1 tsp. ground coriander

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

  • 1 red onion chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 L chicken stock

  • 1/4 cup hominy or cornmeal

  • 1 Tbsp. Mexican oregano

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 bunch green onion

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • 1-2 avocadoes

  • 1 bunch radishes


  • Toast seeds slowly in pan until golden, add salsa and puree.
  • Cut chicken into small strips, toss in chili and sear in oil until nice colour and remove.
  • Sweat onions, garlic in pot in grapeseed oil, add stock, salsa, chicken, and additional seasoning and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer slowly until all flavours blend.
  • Pour into bowls and garnish with chopped green onion, cilantro, radish and avocado.
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