Just as a zesty Mexican chicken stew with sweet hominy has that definite zip and boldness that awakens our tastebuds, so can the spring season bring a bit more vibrancy and light to our spirits if we heed its invitation to explore what it has to offer and be refreshed by it.
There’s nothing quite like coming out of a rather quiet and dormant season where every living thing seems to have been resting and regrouping, and gliding into a fresh season where everything awakens and the colors pop once again, and the world around us teems with life, lots of flavor, and excitement.
The flavor of the spring is bold; it is a zippy and zesty time of year, one that reminds us of the quiet potential that is there within each of us for greatness, just ready to spring up, and for renewed vigor and appetite for the life that we’ve been blessed to have been given.
There’s no way that one can ignore the shift in energy that the fair-weathered spring brings in with it, no way to pretend that there isn’t a very real pull on the spirit to come out and enjoy the sunlight, the sounds of the birds and the buzzing of the bees, the scents of the flowers, and the blooming of the trees, and just the general impulse towards rebirth and brand-new opportunity that this time of year encourages.
Spring offers us an opportunity to get the pep back into our step, to breath in the sweet evening air and feel the warm rays of sun on our skin in the middle of the day, and to begin afresh with a new mentality and clearer eyes to see with, and more gratitude and awareness of who we are and the power that we wield that can be used for so much good and so much nourishment of everything we come into contact with.
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a simple and delicious stew for this time of year with its mild days and still-cool nights, and a zesty Mexican chicken stew with sweet hominy has the perfectly rich and bold flavors that are a great match for the spring season.
Ladled into a bowl and topped with some fresh avocado, a few crushed tortilla chips and perhaps even a splash of hot sauce (if one’s so inclined), it enlivens and warms our beings from within, yet keeps things on the lighter, brighter, and healthier side.
If we allow senses to be guided by this season of spring, we may just feel it beckon to us to come out and enjoy everything that it has to offer us, and to drink in all of the potential and the beauty that it so freely longs to give in order that we may replenished after our quieter, more restful time.
It’ll give us back a little zip in our souls, and a chance to remain vital and strong, continuously growing and evolving into better people with kinder hearts if we only allow ourselves to be touched by its simplicity, and the glorious healing light that it contains.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Zesty Mexican Chicken Stew with Sweet Hominy
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 6
• 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon dry oregano
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• Canola oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 anaheim chili pepper, seeds and membrane removed, and chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 cup salsa verde (green salsa)
• 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced, fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
• 1 (25 ounce) can hominy (found in the hispanic section of the market)
• 4 cups chicken stock
• 3 ½ – 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used a 1 ¾ pound rotisserie chicken from the market, skin discarded)
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
• Tortilla chips, for garnish (if desired)
• Diced avocado, for garnish
-In a small ramekin, combine the cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano and coriander, and set aside this spice mixture for a moment.
-Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat and drizzle in about 3-4 tablespoons of the oil; once hot, add in the chopped onion and anaheim pepper, and sauté for a few minutes until tender and translucent.
-Add in the spice mixture and the garlic and stir to incorporate; once aromatic, add in the salsa verde, the diced tomatoes, and the hominy, and stir to combine.
-Add in the chicken stock, and bring the stew to a gentle simmer, simmering for 20 minutes, uncovered.
-Off the heat, stir in the cilantro and add in the shredded chicken, and stir to combine; check to see if any additional salt and pepper is needed.
-Serve with tortilla chips on the side or on top, plus some avocado, if desired.