“Top Chef” Contestant Manny Barella’s Winning Pozole Recipe

Cheftestant on everyone’s favorite cooking show shares his premier episode-winning pozole recipe.

Want to get a taste of victory from the new season of Top Chef? We’ve got the pozole recipe that clinched victory for Denver’s culinary standout, Manny Barella, in the season’s opening episode. Tune in to Bravo every Wednesday for more thrilling culinary battles. Appointment television has never been this hot. Plus, don’t miss our exclusive pre-premiere On the Job interview with Chef Barella where we discover his secrets to culinary success.

Photo courtesy of istock.

Pozole Verde

Cuisine Mexican


  • cooking oil
  • ½ lb. chicken wings
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 c. mushrooms
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs
  • 10 oz. tomatillos (rinsed)
  • 1 white onion (cut into ⅛" rings)
  • 3 jalapeño (stem removed)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 can of hominy (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ white onion (dices)
  • 1 Tbsp. Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 c. cilantro (roughly chopped, stems included)
Toppings (optional)
  • shredded cabbage
  • sliced radishes
  • avocado
  • Mexican crema (not sour cream)
  • sliced onions
  • lime juice


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Make the stock: Add a splash of oil to a medium pot and roast chicken wings until nicely brown. Add carrot, mushrooms, celery stalks, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Add chicken thighs and simmer until they fall apart with a little resistance. When chicken is done, strain and reserve liquid, discard wings and veggies, and save thighs. Shred chicken with two forks (or with your hands if you can handle it) and set aside.
  • Make the salsa: Place tomatillos, onion rings, jalapeno, and garlic on a baking sheet and roast until nicely charred. Place tortillas in the oven directly on the grates until crispy and a little charred. Add roasted vegetables, charred tortilla, and about ¼ of the hominy to blender, blend until smooth and reserved.
  • Bring it together: In a second sauce pot, add a swirl of oil and sweat (cook gently) the diced onion at a very low heat with oregano and cumin. Once the onions are translucent, add stock, salsa, salt, and the rest of the hominy. Let it simmer for 20 minutes then add shredded chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes. Once ready, pour a ladle or two of stock into the blender with the cilantro, blend well and then return to the pot. Add optional toppings, serve, and hope your judges enjoy it as much as Manny’s did. 
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