Hominy was as common on the table when I was growing up as rice is today. It is not used too much anymore but is still readily available in some regions, particularly in the south. You can buy it in cans or loose, sold in bulk, and sometimes you can find it in health-food stores and packaged alongside the other grains in the supermarket. The brand I buy is Monte Blanco or Goya. I have found that Spanish brands are more tasty. After you have opened the can, wash the hominy 3 or more times with cold water and drain well. This removes the taste of the liquid it soaked in. Hominy is dried, hulled whole kernels of corn; grits are finely ground hominy. Usually hominy is boiled and served hot for breakfast, plain or with gravy. Because I think it is a little like tiny dumplings, I like to cook it with sautéed chicken so that the juices from the chicken and the vegetables can mingle with the hominy.
Makes 4 servings.
- one 2 1/2-pound chicken
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups hominy
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinch dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup white wine (not too dry)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
DIRECTIONS Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. Rinse it under cold water and pat dry. Heat the butter in a skillet and when it foams, quickly sauté the chicken pieces, turning them so that they cook on both sides but do not brown. This seizes the skin so it does not shrivel during cooking. Drain the chicken on paper towels.
Put the hominy in a 2-quart casserole with a lid. Lay the chicken pieces on top and cover with an even layer of onion, sliced mushrooms, and carrot. Add the bay leaf and sprinkle the pepper and dried thyme over the vegetables. Add the wine and cover the casserole.
Cook in a preheated 325°F degree oven for 45 minutes. About 5 minutes before the casserole is finished cooking, add the salt and parsley. Take it from the oven and remove the bay leaf. Taste and add the cream if you want it. I do not always add it.