Tamales have been served in Latin American since pre-Hispanic times. Tamales are made with Masa or Tamale dough made from corn. The tamale corn dough is easy to find in any Latin grocery store or your local neighbourhood store in the Latin foods section. Don’t forget to pick up some tomatillos to make green salsa along with your chicken tamales recipe.
Tamales can be traditionally eaten at any time of day – even breakfast! They made an easy meal, already packed to go and are filling for many hours. Our recipe is made with leftover chicken and a fresh homemade tomato sauce creating little bundles of yumminess! You can also change the chicken for pork or turkey. Try a few variations until you find your favourite.
Chicken Tamales Recipe
Have a few friends over, make a big batch and everyone has tamales to share. A fun, co-operative recipe to make. Need a how-to video? A quick YouTube search will net you lots of variations to help you stuff and roll the perfect tamale.
A traditional Mexican recipe passed down for generations
- 4 cups Tamale Corn Dough found in any latin store or grocery section
- 1 cup Crisco
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 lbs cooked chicken shredded or in cubes
- 2 cups green salsa or enchilada sauce
- 24 corn husks
In a a bowl mix corn dough flour, crisco, salt, pepper and stock, mix with your hands until mixture is a bit sticky.
Hydrate corn husks by putting in luke warm water in the sink or a bowl for 10-15 minutes.
Take a husk in your and hand and but a heaping tablespoon of dough and spread evenly on husk.
Add a small handful of chicken in the middle of the corn dough.
Top with 1 tbsp of sauce.
Add another tbsp of dough to cover chicken and sauce.
Fold corn husk being careful to keep all of the dough inside.
Tie ends with string or cut corn husk.
Repeat until all husks are filled.
Please tamales in a double boiler and steam for 2 hours. Check pot often and add more water.
When the tamales are done an inserted toothpick will come out clean.
Worried about finding the ingredients for your chicken tamales recipe? Order them online! We used Maseca Corn Masa for Tamales when we made our chicken tamales and used Los Chileros Corn Husks. While tamales take practice to put together they become much easier with every batch you make. Plus, they are great to make ahead and a wonderful option for a party. Combine tamales with a couple of these delicious taco recipes for a true fiesta!
Check out these fabulous corn inspired dishes. Polenta Crostini, and Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cilantro Butter & Lime and enjoy this dish with some of our favourite Mexican recipes.
The smell of the corn masa and the tamales cooking brings back so many memories of our travels in Mexico. The smells of the taco stands, family meals, new experiences and beautiful new places. There is something special about the community created around food in Mexico. We think this recipe will bring back those memories for you too. Kids love unwrapping these chicken tamales – it’s part of what makes the experience of eating these so fun!
Let us know what you think of the tamales? We think they are just as good as the ones in Mexico!