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Holiday Pork & Chicken Tamales


Number of Servings: 24
Prep Time: 4 Hours Skill Level: Expert


Meat Filling:
1 cup cooked pork, shredded
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 (15 ounce) can beanless chili with meat
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 package of corn husks - about 100 husks

Masa mixture
2 pounds Masa flour
3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups solid vegetable shortening
8 cups warm chicken broth
8 chicken bullion cubes dissolved in 8 cups warm water


Meat filling:
1. Stir all of the ingredients together and refrigerate the mixture until you are ready to fill the tamales.

1. Soak the corn husks in warm water for at least two hours. If you have trouble keeping the husks from floating, use a plate to keep them under the water. Some cooks will add a dash of salt to the water, but that's not the traditional way.

Masa mixture
1. Mix the dry Masa flour with paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin and salt.

2. Cut the shortening into the Masa mixture with a pastry cutter or pizza cutter or a knife if you don't have the other utensils.

3. Mix until the shortening is all through the flour mix and about the size of tiny peas.

4. Slowy add the chicken broth, one cup at a time, while mixing the dough. This is easiest with an electric mixer, but can be done by hand with a large wooden spoon.

5. Continue adding broth and mixing until the mixture is smooth and thick.

6. Beat mixture for a few minutes to incorporate air into the batter.

7. Test batter by taking one spoonful and dropping it in a bowl of water. If it floats, it's ready to use.

Filling and cooking tamales
1. Take the corn husks out of the water and drain them.

2. Use one corn husk per tamale.

3. The corn husk should be a rectangle shape when you lay it flat on the table or work surface.

4. Spread 1/2 cup of Masa mixture on the corn husk, but leave a gap of about an inch along one long edge and one narrow end of the corn husk.

5. Spread 1 tablespoon of meat mixture down the middle of the masa that you have spread on the corn husk. Just a strip of meat mixture in the middle down the lehgth of the corn husk.

6. Fold the husk along the wide edge, touching the edges of the masa together, with the meat mixture ending up in the middle of the masa. The part of the husk with the one inch gap -- with no masa -- should be rolled around the outside of the husk.

7. Fold about 1 inch of the end of the rolled husk upward along the body of the husk. You should end up with something resembling an eggroll, but with one end open. At this point many cooks will used a thin strand of white thread to tie the bundle to keep it from coming apart while cooking.

8. Stand all of the rolled tamales on end in a steaming collinder with the open end of the tamale facing upward.

9.Steam the tamales over boiling water for 2 hours. Place a lid over the steaming collinder. Keep the tamales above the boiling water, don't allow them to stand in it.

10. After 2 hours, open one tamale to test that the masa is cooked and not doughy.

11. Allow tamales to rest 30 minutes after cooking, before serving. This will help to keep the masa from sticking to the corn husk. If you used thread to cook the tamales, be sure to remove it before you serve them!

Helpful Hints:

Tamales are a tradition around the holidays because they are too much work to make for normal meals. Usually one family member becomes the tamale specialist and brings batches to the holiday meals.

Masa is Mexican for "dough". It means the corn dough used to make tortillas, tamales and other traditional Mexican dishes. You should be able to find it in a Spanish grocery or specialty store if your local supermarket doesn't carry it. Otherwise just do a search. There are plenty of places that carry masa online.

Submitted By :

Elena D


NOTE: The recipes we provide on were submitted by people like you. They have not been tested by us in any way, and we cannot guarantee their accuracy or safety, nor can we be liable for any errors or omissions.



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