Skillet Corn Tamal


Skillet Corn Tamal with Duck Fat and Roasted Garlic

Skillet Corn Tamal with Duck Fat and Roasted Garlic

Tamal de Elote en Cazuela con Manteca de Pato y Ajo Rostizado

Recipe Yield

6 servings

Cooking time

35 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.41 from 5 votes


  • 8 cups corn kernels fresh or thawed from frozen, preferably white corn, divided
  • ½ cup chicken broth divided
  • 1 whole head of garlic roasted until completely soft and peeled (can use the roasted garlic from the duck recipe linked below)
  • 1 ½ cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup duck fat rendered from Spicy Honey Garlic and Orange Roasted Duck divided, or can use unsalted butter or lard
  • 2 tablespoons grated piloncillo or brown sugar

To Prepare

  • In the jar of a blender, coarsely puree 4 cups of the corn kernels with ¼ cup of the chicken broth and the peeled roasted garlic and puree until completely smooth, scrape onto a bowl. Add the remaining 4 cups of corn kernels and ¼ cup chicken broth and pulse to blend into a very coarse mixture. Scrape onto the same bowl. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix the masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer set with the paddle attachment, add 3/4 cups of the duck fat and the piloncillo or dark brown sugar. Start beating over low speed until well mixed. Incorporate the masa harina mixture and beat for a minute. Incorporate the corn mixture, increase speed to medium, and continue beating for 5 to 6 minutes. Until completely mixed.
  • Preheat the oven to 375℉ with the rack in the middle position. Set a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the remaining ¼ cup duck fat. Once hot but not smoking, pour in the corn mixture. Let it cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Then carefully cover with aluminum foil, transfer to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, until the top gains a bit of a golden brown color. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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19comments inSkillet Corn Tamal with Duck Fat and Roasted Garlic

  1. Holly

    Feb 08

    Hi Pati! Just curious what the consistency should be once cooked? More like tamale, or softer? I ended up cooking another 20 min as the middle was still giggling. I’m vegan and used an avacado oil plant based butter. It was soft but tasted fantastic!

    Thank you for your recipes! You taught me how to cook my favorite … mexican food! I cant thank you enough!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 15

      Thanks so much for your very kind message Holly! Once cooked the consistency is like a tamal, maybe a tiny bit softer but definitely not runny or giggly 🙂

  2. Caroline

    Apr 10

    I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 06

      Let me know how did you like it Caroline!

  3. Monica bravo

    Dec 07

    Is this like a sweet tamale pie

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Sort of 😉

  4. Sophia Bondarew

    Nov 29

    Hello Patti Jinich,
    I made this recipe the day after I made the duck. I loved the taste of all the flavors: the fresh corn, the masa, the rich duck fat with orange, and all the other ingredients. It’s one of my favorite foods now. But, better than that it has become a base recipe for me. Since making your recipe I ventured in making a skillet tamal with fresh corn and olive oil, which my family of friends loved. Then I made a pumpkin puree and turkey fat tamal, using these ingredients from my Thanksgiving Dinner. Also very delicious and nutritious.
    I thank you Patti Jinich for how you share your love of Mexican cooking with us. Your enthusiasm, smile and laughter are infectious. I will keep watching and trying your recipes.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Wow, I love this idea, thanks so much for sharing Sophia! And thanks as well for the kind words.

  5. Nancy

    Oct 27

    Has anyone tried halving this recipe? And if so, are there any adjustments you might make?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 28

      Half it exactly and it will work as good Nancy 😉

      1. Anonymous

        Oct 29


      2. nancy

        Oct 29

        Took your advice and halved the recipe. I topped it with shredded cheddar and gave it a turn under the broiler at the end. The flavor was wonderful. Added a bit more salt and some hot sauce as i thought it needed a bit more flavor. in the future i might add some jalapeno.
        The only observation i have is that it was somewhat drier than how it looked when you made it on TV. i wonder why since i followed the recipe but did reduce it by half and baked in a smaller cast iron. I used store-bought duck fat, which is not as flavorful as I’m sure the duck recipe duck fat. I suspect if i had made the duck recipe, it would have added a deeper flavor. This recipe is definitely a keeper

        1. Pati Jinich

          Nov 02

          Thanks for the review Nancy, glad you liked this tamal!

      3. Patty

        Nov 02

        I made this tonight. I substituted half butter and half canola oil for the duck fat. Still turned out delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I will be make it again, for sure😍

        1. Pati Jinich

          Nov 03

          So glad you enjoyed this recipe Patty, yay!

  6. Frank Rios

    Oct 26

    I tried it differently.
    Tamale masa on bottom.
    Meat cheese bean filling.
    Masa on top.
    Baño maria 45 minutes .

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 26

      Uy, yummy! Thanks for sharing your way Frank 😉

  7. Miss Tish

    Oct 24

    This looks amazing, I really want to try this!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 26

      It is really delicious Tish!

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