Chicken Tamales

Chicken Tamales

  • 1/2 package dried corn husks for tamales* (about 20)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2  teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons canned chopped green chiles
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground red pepper
  • 1  cup whole-kernel corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • Prepared salsa, (optional)


  1. Place corn husks in large bowl. Add enough cold water to cover husks. Let soak 2 hours.
  2. Make Filling: Lightly coat medium nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray; heat over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in garlic, cumin, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; cook 30 seconds.
  5. Add ground chicken, stirring with spoon to break up meat.
  6. Cook until meat is opaque, about 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in green chilies. Cool 10 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, bring chicken broth, water, and oil to boil in small saucepan.
  9. Combine cornmeal, baking powder, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the ground red pepper in food processor. With machine on, pour hot broth mixture through feed tube in a steady stream and process until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl and stir in corn and green onions.
  10. Drain husks. Select 2 equal-size husks and overlap long edges. Spoon scant ⅓ cup of the cornmeal mixture down center; spread lightly. Spoon 3 tablespoons Filling on top of cornmeal.
  11. Roll one long edge of husk inward, cigar-fashion, to enclose Filling. Tie each end with string or thin strip of husk.
  12. Repeat with remaining husks, cornmeal mixture, and filling to make 8 tamales.
  13. Arrange tamales in single layer on steamer rack over boiling water in large pot or skillet. Cover and steam for 40 minutes, adding more boiling water as needed. Serve with salsa, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

* Note: Dried corn husks are available at Latin-American specialty markets. Or, cut eight 8-inch-by-6-inch sheets of aluminum foil and fill as directed. Fold foil, enclosing filling in cornmeal mixture, and crimp edges securely. Steam as directed above.


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