Chicken and Red Chile Tamales

Chicken and Red Chile Tamales

  • Servings: 24 to 26
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ingredients

40 to 60 dried corn husks*
olive or canola oil non-aerosol cooking spray
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 to 3 tbsp. fresh ground chile powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin – optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 28‑oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. reduced-sodium chicken soup base
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders with tendons removed
1 to 2 fresh roasted poblanos or Anaheim chilies, roasted and chopped
or 1 small roasted and chopped
16 to 18 green olives, thinly sliced
Masa
1 cup yellow corn meal
3 1/2 cups cold water
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium chicken soup base
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup masa harina* (corn flour)
1/8 to 1/4 cup warm water, if necessary 

Directions

I. Place corn husks in large pot and add very hot water to cover. Top husks with plate or heavy lid to keep submerged for 2 hours to overnight.

2.  Preheat a large stick-resistant pan or skillet on medium. Sauté onion and garlic and until soft.   Stir in next 8 ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high, add chicken and bring and sauce to  a low boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender, 20 minutes for breasts, 10 to 15 for tenders. Remove chicken from sauce and set aside to cool before shredding into small pieces.

3.  Increase heat to medium. Stirring frequently, cook until the consistency of thick tomato sauce, then reduce heat to low. Add shred chicken, chopped peppers, and olives to sauce stirring together. Cover and remove from heat.

4.  Drain corn husks; rinse, and rub under running water to remove any silk or debris, if necessary. Drain well; pat dry, and wrap in a towel to keep pliable.

To Make Masa: Combine corn meal, salt, soup base and 3 1/2 cups cold water in a medium saucepan. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, bring to boil over medium high heat. Continuing to stir constantly, reduce heat to medium and cook until corn mush pulls away from sides and bottom of pan, 4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes.

2. Combine cornmeal, salt, chicken soup base and 3 1/2 cups cold water in a medium saucepan. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, bring to boil over medium-high heat. Continuing to stir constantly, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cornmeal mush pulls away from sides and bottom of pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes.

3.  Transfer mush to a large mixer bowl; add eggs and beat until combined with mush. A fourth of a cup at a time, beat masa harina into mixture until thoroughly blended. If dough seems too thick to spread easily, beat an additional 1/8 to 1/4 cup stock or warm water into dough.

To Prepare Tamales: Lightly spray a corn husk with cooking spray; place 1 heaping tablespoon of dough in center of husk. Spread dough evenly into a 3 1/2 to 4‑inch square about 1/4‑inch thick and top with 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Fold right, then left sides of husk over filling, Fold bottom of tamale seam-side-up towards top and tie together with a long thin piece of discarded corn husk. Set tamales aside seam‑side‑down and repeat the process.

2. Line the bottom of a large steamer pot with some of the remaining wet corn husks. Place tamales in pot standing upright, open end up, tight enough to keep them standing until pot is full.

3. Place pot above 4‑inches boiling water. Lay a few wet husks or a wet towel over the top of tamales before covering pot with a lid. Reduce heat to high-simmer and steam tamales 1 1/2 hours.

4. Remove a tamale from the center of pot and carefully unwrap. If dough pulls easily away from husk, it’s done. If necessary, steam 15 minutes longer and test again until done. Serve tamales hot.

Instant Pot instructions: Place steaming rack in a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot. Add 1 cup water if using a 6-quart and 2 cups if using an 8-quart. Place a several husks on top of the rack so that the tamales don’t fall through.

2. Place tamales in the pot upright, open end up, tight enough to keep them standing until pot is full. The tamales are not extending out of the pot. then lock the lid in place and seal.

3. Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button on high pressure and set time for 30 minutes. Let the steam release naturally for 12 minutes, then turn the valve to vent and release residual steam.

4. Carefully remove the lid and let tamales rest 20 minutes to set up before serving.

Nutrition

Nutrition Information: 1 tamale at 75 calories; 1g fat; 11g carbohydrate; 1.8g fiber; 6g protein; 15mg cholesterol; 299mg sodium.

Original Nutrition Information: 1 tamale at 199 calories; 14g fat; 13g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 23mg cholesterol; 650mg sodium

Cook’s Note: You can find all of the items with an asterisk in the Latin section of larger supermarkets or at any Mexican or Latino Market.

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