chicken tamale recipe

Chicken Tamale Recipe

Chicken Tamale Recipe
We love Mexican food, but other than Tacos we don’t usually make it at home. We head downtown to Mexican Village and get some of the best food in all of Detroit. Even though Downtown is only about 15 minutes away, there are nights that we choose to not make the trip. But that doesn’t mean we still don’t want the food. So what do you do? Sometimes we try to make them at home!
I’m always afraid to try some food because I’m not always sure what’s in the ingredient list. One of the foods I’ve held off on was Tamales. But once I dug around for a recipe, I was intrigued and had to make them at home. I tweaked the recipe as I went to make it fit our liking, but the basics are still the same!

They came out great, the only thing I would change later would be to season the masa more. The filling recipe is perfect for other Mexican dishes too – it had the flavor we love when we go downtown! Delicious! Let me know if you make them!

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 1 4-ounce package dried corn husks
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed
  • 4 3-inch-long serrano chiles, stemmed, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 pound; from purchased rotisserie chicken)
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dough

  • 1 1/3 cups Crisco vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (omit if masa mixture contains salt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (omit if masa mixture contains baking powder)
  • 4 cups freshly ground masa dough for tamales (34 to 36 ounces)
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Chicken Tamales

Directions:

Step 1:  In a large bowl or stock pot separate your corn husks and completely submerge them in water. Place a large plate on top to keep them completely submerged (I used a pie plate).

Let the husks soak at least 3 hours, I let them soak overnight. Turn them completely at least a couple times.

Tamatillo sauce

Step 2: It’s time to make your sauce and filling!

Preheat broiler. Line heavy baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos on prepared sheet. Broil until tomatillos blacken in spots, turning once, about 5 minutes per side.

Transfer tomatillos and any juices on sheet to processor and cool. Add chiles* and garlic to processor and blend until smooth puree forms. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add tomatillo puree and boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broth. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Season with salt. Mix in chicken and cilantro.

*I could not find serrano chilis at our local store. You can used canned green chilis, or you can do what I did – grab jalapenos! It will have a bit more kick, just be careful chopping and remove the seeds completely. Wash your hands thoroughly after chopping jalapenos – the juices can burn you!

Step 3: Using electric mixer, beat crisco with salt and baking powder, if using in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in fresh masa in 4 additions. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups broth, forming a soft dough. If dough seems too hard, beat in enough broth, 2 tablespoons at a time, to soften.

Chicken Tamales

Step 4: Fill bottom of pot with steamer insert with enough water (about 2 inches) to reach bottom of insert. Line bottom of insert with some softened corn husks. Tear 3 large husks into 1/4-inch-wide strips to use as ties and set aside.

Chicken Tamales

Step 5: Open 2 large husks on work surface. Spread 1/4 cup dough in 4-inch square in center of each, leaving 2- to 3-inch plain border at narrow end of husk. Spoon heaping tablespoon filling in strip down center of each dough square.

Step 6: Fold long sides of husk and dough over filling to cover. Fold up narrow end of husk. Tie folded portion with strip of husk to secure, leaving wide end of tamale open.

Chicken Tamales

Step 7: Stand tamales in steamer basket. Repeat with more husks, dough, and filling until all filling has been used. If necessary to keep tamales upright in steamer, insert pieces of crumpled foil between them.

Step 8: Bring water in pot to boil. Cover pot and steam tamales until dough is firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool 1 hour. Cover and chill. Before serving, re-steam tamales until hot, about 35 minutes.)

This recipe made approximately 35 tamales. I had to steam them for an hour to get the dough the right consistency.

Chicken Tamale Recipe

Chicken Tamale Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 4-ounce package dried corn husks
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed
  • 4 3-inch-long serrano chiles, stemmed, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 pound; from purchased rotisserie chicken)
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/3 cups Crisco vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (omit if masa mixture contains salt)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (omit if masa mixture contains baking powder)
  • 4 cups freshly ground masa dough for tamales (34 to 36 ounces)
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or stock pot separate your corn husks and completely submerge them in water. Place a large plate on top to keep them completely submerged (I used a pie plate). Let the husks soak at least 3 hours, I let them soak overnight. Turn them completely at least a couple times.
  2. It's time to make your sauce and filling! Preheat broiler. Line heavy baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos on prepared sheet. Broil until tomatillos blacken in spots, turning once, about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer tomatillos and any juices on sheet to processor and cool. Add chiles* and garlic to processor and blend until smooth puree forms. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add tomatillo puree and boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broth. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Season with salt. Mix in chicken and cilantro.
  4. Using electric mixer, beat crisco with salt and baking powder, if using in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in fresh masa in 4 additions. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups broth, forming a soft dough. If dough seems too hard, beat in enough broth, 2 tablespoons at a time, to soften.
  5. Fill bottom of pot with steamer insert with enough water (about 2 inches) to reach bottom of insert. Line bottom of insert with some softened corn husks. Tear 3 large husks into 1/4-inch-wide strips to use as ties and set aside.
  6. Open 2 large husks on work surface. Spread 1/4 cup dough in 4-inch square in center of each, leaving 2- to 3-inch plain border at narrow end of husk. Spoon heaping tablespoon filling in strip down center of each dough square.
  7. Fold long sides of husk and dough over filling to cover. Fold up narrow end of husk. Tie folded portion with strip of husk to secure, leaving wide end of tamale open.
  8. Chicken Tamales
  9. Stand tamales in steamer basket. Repeat with more husks, dough, and filling until all filling has been used. If necessary to keep tamales upright in steamer, insert pieces of crumpled foil between them.
  10. Bring water in pot to boil. Cover pot and steam tamales until dough is firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool 1 hour. Cover and chill. Before serving, re-steam tamales until hot, about 35 minutes.)
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Becky

Owner and Editor at Week99er
Becky is Content Creator in metro-Detroit. She is also an interior designer, a former adjunct professor, a gluten free foodie, and world traveler. Week99er is a lifestyle site featuring real life reviews of the latest in entertainment, technology, travel destinations and even set visits. Her Youtube channel gives in depth reviews and travel videos. Contact her at [email protected]

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