To make this speedier version, you will need to rely on canned hominy. It does not have the same chewy-tender texture of dried and hours-long simmered hominy, but it is fine for a quick weeknight soup. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces, are likewise fast-cooking because they contain a fair amount of fat, bringing flavor and body to the soup that you wouldn’t find with chicken breast meat. (If you prefer to make pozole with pork, you’ll want to use a large tenderloin and increase the amount of oil by a tablespoon or two. Cut the tenderloin into the same bite-sized pieces.)
Most pozole recipes call for a chile puree, made from onions, garlic and reconstituted dried chiles, which is then stirred in toward the end of cooking. This step requires time and ingredients that would quickly run over the 5:30 Challenge limits. Instead, pick up a jar of high-quality chile powder — you can use a blend or a powder made from a single chile (ancho is particularly good). And instead of using both onions and garlic, slice a few large shallots, which are the closest you’ll get, flavor-wise, to a combination of those two ingredients.