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This is one of the many tamale recipes I hold near and dear to my heart. In 2011 I was blessed with the opportunity to return to Monterrey, Mexico, the home of my parents Ramiro and Blanca. I had been without my parents for a few years already and had resigned myself that i would never return to Mexico. It was not until early 2011 that I finally came out of the dark ages and purchased a personal computer. I quickly connected with all my family in Mexico and a return trip to Mexico was inevitable! Of my Mom's siblings, she still has four sisters, Amelia, Minerva, Rosa and Elvia. They are all awesome Mexican cooks and I was lucky enough to have my cousin Patricia Sanchez share my tia Amelia's tamales de pollo recipe. I share it with you now, to keep the family legacy going....
For Chicken Filling
4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
5 roma tomatoes (add 1/2 cup water and blend), set aside
1/3 cup of pickled jalapenos, minced
1/4 cup of jalapeno brine
1/3 cup carrots, diced, cooked
1/3 cup potato, diced, cooked
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
Reserved chicken stock
2 1/2 cups masa harina
2 1/2 cups warm chicken stock
3/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1. Start by poaching the chicken breast in a pot filled with salted water for a good 40 minutes at a light boil. After the chicken is cooked, removed from broth onto plate and let cool.
2. Once chicken has cooled, shred all of the meat and set aside. In a large, heavy pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil to medium heat, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add all of the remaining ingredients, holding off on the salt. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat, taste for salt and add about 1/3 cup of reserved stock. Let it cook down and reduce for a good 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.
3. Combine the masa harina, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the warm chicken broth and using your hand, work it into a soft dough. In another bowl, melt the shortening in the microwave. Add the shortening to the masa and work it in with hands until you get a thick batter consistency. If masa is too thick, add a little more chicken broth. Keep masa covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
4. Prepare your tamale station. Soak the corn husk in hot water for a good 40 to 60 minutes. Place a heavy dish or pot to keep them submerged in water. Take a few of the husks, shake off excess water. Tear the husk so they are only about 4 inches wide. Place the corn husk lengthwise in the palm of your hand with wide side closest to you. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of masa all over the bottom half of husk. Place 2 tablespoons of filling down the center of masa. Fold one side in, then the other so they are slightly overlapping. Fold the top flap down and lay the tamale seam side down.
5. Prepare large pot to steam tamales, take a small metal steamer or make a large foil ball (about 4 inches), place in the center of pot. Arrange all of your tamales standing up (open side up) around the metal steamer or foil ball. Pour in about an 2 inches of water, cover tightly and turn heat to high to get a quick boil going, reduce heat. For the next hour or so you will have to check the tamales every 15 to 20 minutes for water level, adding it as needed. Do not let it run dry. After they have been steaming for an hour pull one tamale out and let it cool slightly. If the corn husk pulls away easily from the masa, your tamales are done. If not steam them for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let them sit, covered, until ready to serve.
Cooking times may vary, depending on your stove and also how crowded the pot is with tamales.
Chicken Tamales with a salsa variety!Salsa Roja, Tomatillo Salsa y Salsa de Quatro Chiles para los Tamales de PolloMixing the Masa...Spreading the Masa... is really an art form. Not everyone can do it...
Other recipes by Sonia:
Mini Gorditas Stuffed with Chorizo and Cheese
Tilapia In a Green Chile Sauce With Coconut Lime Rice
Chile Relleno with Serrano Shrimp
Tequila Lime Shrimp
Steak Ranchero and Potato Tacos
Annatto-Citrus Marinated Chicken
Chile Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
Chicken Enchilada Soup with Chayotes
Chocoflan / Pastel Imposible
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