Chicken Tamales


For the Chicken Filling

3 fresh poblano chiles

one 14.5 Oz. can fire roasted tomatoes

2 tablespoons Avacado oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

4 whole cloves, stemmed and crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup pimento stuffed olives, chopped

1/4 cup capers, coarsely chopped

3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded

For the Dough

3 1/2 cups Masa Harina or whole wheet flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable shortening

3 1/4 cups chicken broth

For Assembly

30 to 36 dried corn husks

For the Filling

If using canned tomatoes, simply chop them.

In a large fry pan, heat oil over medium heat.

Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, cumin, crushed cloves and salt.

Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is dark red and thickened.

Add poblanos, olives, capers and chicken, stir to combine, then cook 5 minutes.

For the Dough

In a bowl, whisk masa harina, baking powder and salt.

Place shortening in a mixer and beat at high until light, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce speed and add broth and mflour mixture alternately, scraping the bowl as needed.

Then increase speed to medium and beat for 4 to 8 minutes, until dough is very fluffy and aerated.

In a bowl, soak corn husks in hot water for at least 10 minutes, or until soft and pliable, then drain.

For Assembly

Work one husk at a time, position it with the tapered end pointing toward you.

Portion about 1/4 cup dough onto the husk.

Spread dough into 3” x 5” and 1/4” thick, leave a border of 1/2” on the sides and 1” on the bottom.

Place 2 tablespoons of filling onto the center of the dough.

Pick up the long sides of the husk and bring them together.

Fold sides of the husk together to one side of the tamal, wrapping them around it in the same direction.

Fold the empty (tapered) section of the husk up from the bottom and over the dough and filling, spread the dough/filling so evenly in the husk.

This will form an enclosed “package” with an open top.

Place the tamales, open side up, as upright as you can into a container.

Repeat the assembly with the remaining dough and filling.

For Cooking the Tamales

Fill a steamer with water right up to the bottom of the steaming basket.

Bring water to a simmer over medium heat.

Line the steamer basket with a layer of soaked corn husks.

Place tamales, open end up, as upright as you can into the steamer.

Cover the tamales with more soaked corn husks.

Steam, covered with a lid, for an hour.

Turn off the heat and let the tamales rest for 10 minutes.

You can test the tamales for doneness by unwrapping one and checking to see that it releases easily from the husk.

If it doesn’t, return them to the heat, checking them at 5 minute intervals.

Finished tamales will stay warm for about 2 hours in the steamer. Enjoy!
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