Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tamale Recipe

Chicken Tamales
1 package dried corn husks.
Boil dried corn husks for 10 minutes. Drain, separate from each other and rinse off. Set aside.
Tamale Dough:
8 cups Masa Mix (I use MASECA for Tamales brand which is different from the Masa for tortillas)
8 cups water (broth from the chicken is best)*
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups vegetable shortening
Combine the Masa flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Work the broth/water in with your fingers to make a soft, moist dough. In small bowl, beat lard or shortening until fluffy. Add to Masa mixture and beat together until you have a spongy texture.
Tamale Filling:
3 lbs of boneless chicken
10cups of water
3 fresh Pasilla pepper pods
1 onion, chopped into small pieces
1/8 cup cooking oil1
cup salsa

COOK CHICKEN: Add to large pan, 10 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 bay leaves, and 2 tablespoons chicken base (or 3 chicken bullion cubes, 2 teaspoons onion power and garlic powder. Cook chicken until done. Remove chicken from broth and set aside. Reserve 8 cups of broth* in container to use in making the tamale dough above. (Save and set aside balance of broth for use in making soup.) When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred chicken.
BLACKEN PEPPERS:Cook peppers on gas grill or broil in the oven until outside of peppers are black (but not overcooked). Put peppers in sink and run cool water on them. Peel blackened skin of peppers off and discard. Chop peppers.
TAMALE FILLING: In skillet, add 1/8 cup of cooking oil, chopped onion, and chopped peppers, cook until onions are translucent, add all of the chopped chicken and stir. Simmer mixture for 5 minutes, then add 1 cup salsa. Set aside.
Place on counter a cleaned, wet corn husk that is at about 4 inches wide at top. Flatten husk by spreading out the husk with your hands. To the center of it add ¾ cup of tamale dough (recipie above) and spread out the dough to cover all but the bottom ¼ of the husk. Add 1 large tablespoon of the filling (recipe above) to the left side of the dough creating a line of filling from the top of the husk to the end of the dough. Roll the tamale from the left to the right, keeping the filling rolled tightly in side. Unroll the tamale and fold bottom of husk (not already covered with masa) up onto tamale, then roll tamale closed and set aside.
When all tamales are rolled, place in large steamer pan (Large Tamale Pans are often sold at markets that specialize in Mexican Food). Place tamales on bottom of steamer, laying them with ½ inch separation between each one, and change direction on each layer (similar to laying a wood fire). Steam Tamales for 1 hour (keep pan covered to retain the steam during the hour. *
1. Add water to steamer pan(s) occasionally. Do Not let pans boil dry!.

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