Chicken in Green Salsa Tamal

Chicken in Green Salsa Tamal
Print Recipe
18 tamales Tamales de Pollo con Salsa Verde
Ingredients
  • For the tamal dough or masa:
  • 3/4 cup lard, vegetable shortening, or seasoned oil (see note at end of recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound (about 3 1/4 cups) instant corn masa flour (masa harina) for tortillas or tamales
  • 3 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth add more if needed
  • For the filling:
  • 1 batch salsa verde
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken from homemade chicken broth
  • To assemble the tamales:
  • 25 dried corn husks soaking in hot water
To Prepare
  • To make the tamal dough or masa: Place lard, vegetable shortening or seasoned oil in an electric mixer and beat until very light, about 1 minute. Add salt and 1 teaspoon of cold water and continue beating until it is white and spongy, a couple more minutes. Add the baking powder and then alternate adding the instant corn masa and the chicken broth a little at a time. Continue beating until dough is homogeneous and as fluffy as can get. You know the tamal masa is ready when you can drop 1/2 teaspoon of the masa in a cup of cold water and it floats.
  • To make the filling: Combine the salsa verde with the cooked shredded chicken.
  • To assemble the tamales: Soak the dried corn husks in hot water for a couple minutes, or until they are pliable, and drain. Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. Spread about 3 tablespoons of masa into about a 2 to 3-inch square, the layer should be about 1/4-inch thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2-inch on the sides. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the masa square.
  • Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold the folded sides to one side, rolling them in same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk, with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open.
  • Assemble all the tamales and place them as vertically as you can in a container.
  • To prepare the tamalera or steamer: Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer (so that water is under the steamer) and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.
  • To cook the tamales: When you have all tamales ready, place them, again as vertically as you can, into the prepared steamer with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some corn husks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more corn husks, and steam covered with a lid for 50 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks. They will still be moist, and as they are released from the husks, you will see the moisture, like when you remove good moist muffins from their paper baking cups.
  • Finished tamales will stay warm for about 2 hours in the steamer. They can be made ahead several days before and stored in refrigerator, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for months. In either case, reheat in a steamer. For refrigerated tamales, it will take about 20 minutes and about 45 minutes for frozen tamales.
  • Note: To make seasoned oil, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup vegetable oil over medium heat, add a thick slice of onion and 4 garlic cloves. Cook for 15 minutes until completely browned. Remove onion and garlic before using the oil.
Ingredients
  • For the tamal dough or masa:
  • 3/4 cup lard, vegetable shortening, or seasoned oil (see note at end of recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound (about 3 1/4 cups) instant corn masa flour (masa harina) for tortillas or tamales
  • 3 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth add more if needed
  • For the filling:
  • 1 batch salsa verde
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken from homemade chicken broth
  • To assemble the tamales:
  • 25 dried corn husks soaking in hot water
To Prepare
  • To make the tamal dough or masa: Place lard, vegetable shortening or seasoned oil in an electric mixer and beat until very light, about 1 minute. Add salt and 1 teaspoon of cold water and continue beating until it is white and spongy, a couple more minutes. Add the baking powder and then alternate adding the instant corn masa and the chicken broth a little at a time. Continue beating until dough is homogeneous and as fluffy as can get. You know the tamal masa is ready when you can drop 1/2 teaspoon of the masa in a cup of cold water and it floats.
  • To make the filling: Combine the salsa verde with the cooked shredded chicken.
  • To assemble the tamales: Soak the dried corn husks in hot water for a couple minutes, or until they are pliable, and drain. Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. Spread about 3 tablespoons of masa into about a 2 to 3-inch square, the layer should be about 1/4-inch thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2-inch on the sides. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the masa square.
  • Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold the folded sides to one side, rolling them in same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk, with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open.
  • Assemble all the tamales and place them as vertically as you can in a container.
  • To prepare the tamalera or steamer: Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer (so that water is under the steamer) and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.
  • To cook the tamales: When you have all tamales ready, place them, again as vertically as you can, into the prepared steamer with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some corn husks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more corn husks, and steam covered with a lid for 50 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks. They will still be moist, and as they are released from the husks, you will see the moisture, like when you remove good moist muffins from their paper baking cups.
  • Finished tamales will stay warm for about 2 hours in the steamer. They can be made ahead several days before and stored in refrigerator, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for months. In either case, reheat in a steamer. For refrigerated tamales, it will take about 20 minutes and about 45 minutes for frozen tamales.
  • Note: To make seasoned oil, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup vegetable oil over medium heat, add a thick slice of onion and 4 garlic cloves. Cook for 15 minutes until completely browned. Remove onion and garlic before using the oil.

6 comments on “Chicken in Green Salsa Tamal

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  1. I absolutely adore your cooking and your show. Is it possible for you to post a note about the alternative method you mentioned when you demonstrated this recipe on your show: Tamale Casserole? The main layers are clear – masa, filling, masa. But you mentioned something about finishing the top with Salsa Verde, cream? and cheese? And for how long would you bake it? Thank you kindly!

    1. First you bake the casserole with just the masa, filling, and masa, and covered with foil for 50 minutes. Then you add 1 cup of the salsa and top it with cream and grated cheese and bake it for another 10 minutes uncovered.

  2. I made these for my family today…My dad loved them- he was skeptical when I told him that I was making them by hand, by myself. Very impressive to bring over for a holiday! Thank you for your show and your recipes- your excitement for the food and ingredients makes me so very happy when I watch!

  3. Dear Pati,
    We had a blast making your tamales this weekend. My wife is a vegetarian so we made one batch of the chicken with salsa Verde and the other we made roasted poblano peppers and zucchini in Salsa Verde. Amazing! Thank you for teaching me this fluffy temal recipe