Chicken Tamales

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6


Chicken Filling
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, finely diced
2 whole chipolte peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
2 whole chicken breasts
2 cups water

Corn Mixture
8 ounces dried corn husks
2/3 cups lard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (best if fresh ground)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, preferably fresh ground
1/4 teaspoon oregano, dried
2 cups masa harina
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon baking powder


1. Soak corn husks in warm water for 30 minutes.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium size pot. Place onions, green peppers, and chipotle peppers in the oil and saute until onions are soft and transparent. Add chicken to the pot along with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 1 hour. Remove chicken and using a fork, pull it off of the bone and shred it. Place it back in the braising liquid and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl whip lard until fluffy on medium speed. Add salt, cumin, coriander, oregano, and masa harina and mix on low until ingredients are incorporated. Add chicken broth and mix on low speed until mixture comes together.
4. Take a corn husk and open it up on a counter. Spread a 1/4 cup of corn mixture on the wide side of the husk and form a 4×4 inch square that touches 2 sides of the husk, leaving an inch or two gap from the top side of the husk. Place 2 tablespoons of chicken filling on corn mixture and spread across the middle of the corn mixture. Roll the edge parallel to the husk point and with the corn mixture that came to the edge, enclose the mixture. Gently use your hand to tuck the husk under the mixture and compress the stuffing. Then turn the point of the husk over that roll. Continue to roll the cylinder shape towards the non-filled end leaving one end open. Tie the tamale either with a string or with a strip of corn husk. Repeat until all tamales are made.
5. In a tall skinny pot place a steamer strainer in the bottom and fill with water til just above the steamer. Stand tamales up on top of steamer with the open end up. Bring to a gentle boil and cover the pot. Steam for 45 minutes, watching to make sure you might need to add more water.
6. Serve with your favorite salsas. Or click here for Prep’s Fresh Salsa recipe that can accompany this dish.

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