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April 8, 2013

Tamales de Pollo Verde

Tamales de Pollo Verde


  • 1 8-ounce package dried corn husks
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed
  • 2 Jalapenos chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 cups (packed) coarsely shredded cooked chicken
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • 1 1/3 vegetable shortening
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 cups freshly ground masa dough for tamales (34 to 36 ounces)
  • 2 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth
  • garlic salt (to taste)
  • cumin (to taste)


For filling:

Place husks in large pot or large bowl; add water to cover. Place heavy plate on husks to keep submerged. Let stand until husks soften, turning occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat broiler. Line heavy baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos on prepared sheet. Broil until tomatillos blacken in spots, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer tomatillos and any juices on sheet to processor and cool. Add jalapenos and garlic to processor and blend until smooth puree forms. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo puree and boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broth. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Season with salt. Mix in chicken and cilantro. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) 

For dough:

Making the dough is a little tougher. It's really about feel. You want it to be almost sticky. So I dump the masa out on the counter I add the seasonings I want to taste then alternate chicken broth & vegetable oil. Massaging the dough together to form a soft ball. You want it to stick together really well. If you make a ball and flatten it and there are no cracks you have achieved the right consistency. It does take practice.

Fill bottom of pot with steamer insert with enough water (about 2 inches) to reach bottom of insert. Line bottom of insert with some softened corn husks. Open 1 large husks on work surface. Spread  a handful of  dough in the center of the husk, leaving 2- to 3-inch plain border at narrow end of husk. Spoon heaping tablespoon filling in strip down center of each dough square. Fold long sides of husk and dough over filling to cover. Fold up narrow end of husk, leaving wide end of tamale open. Stand tamales in steamer basket. Repeat with more husks, dough, and filling until all filling has been used. 
Bring water in pot to boil. Cover pot and steam tamales until dough is firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool 1 hour. Cover and chill. Before serving, re-steam tamales until hot, about 35 minutes.)
Freeze leftovers for later. 

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