• 2 -1/2 - 3 dozen dried corn husks
  • 3 whole chicken breasts
  • 8 - 10 chicken thighs
  • 3 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans green chiles, drained, and diced
  • 1 or 2 pickled jalepenos, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 (4-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 4 cups masa harina
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup lard or shortening*
  • Chicken broth, as needed, about 2 1/2 - 3 cups
  • Chile Gravy:
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dehydrated onion
  • 2 -3 teaspoons Schilling Mexican Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • Salt, to taste


Soak the corn husks in water several hours. Simmer chicken in water to cover
(add a little salt and pepper) for about 45 minutes or until chicken is
tender. Cool in liquid until cool enough to handle. Reserve broth; remove
and discard skin and bones. Shred chicken.

For filling: combine shredded chicken, green chiles, jalepenos, cheese and
olives; set aside.
With wire whip, beat lard or shortening until light and fluffy. *(You can
cut shortening to 1/2 cup and still have good results.) Beat in masa harina
and enough broth to make a smooth mixture about the consistency of frosting.
Spread masa mixture on corn husks to about 1/4 inch thickness, leaving a
little space around the edges. Place about 2 tablespoons filling over masa.
Roll husks to form compact packages and fold ends over. Make strips out of
some of the soaked corn husks and use to tie the tamales. Steam on a rack
over hot water for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. I use a bamboo steamer over a wok. (This
makes a bunch. The cooked tamales freeze well. Reheat defrosted tamales in
microwave or in a steamer. Use within about a month.)

For Chili Gravy: Combine ingredients; cook and stir over medium heat until
thickened. Serve over tamales and top with shredded Cheddar cheese if

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Submitted 6/13/05.
Source: My Files
Submitted By: Joy Bowers
Chicken Tamales