Recipe courtesy of Trevino Family

Chicken Tamales

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  • Total: 2 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 3 pounds of masa equals 3 dozen


Chicken filling:

Tomatillo Sauce:

Bean Filling for Tamales:



  1. For the chicken filling: Place fryers in stock pot. Fill the pot with water to cover chickens. Add the remaining ingredients boil for 1 hour.
  2. When chickens are done remove from pot, peel off the skin, de-bone chicken, chop and set aside.
  3. For the sauce: Parboil tomatillos, poblano pepper, bell pepper, onion. Chop, add remaining ingredients and coarsely blend. Set aside.
  4. Saute chopped chicken in a little oil and tomatillo sauce. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. For the been filling: In a large stock pot, cover beans with water. Add onion, head of garlic and salt. Boil until done, drain, reserving liquid. Mash beans and set aside.
  6. Mince 1 cup onion, 1 ounce garlic and saute in 1/4 cup of oil. When onion is clear add flour constantly mixing with whisk until golden. Add mashed beans with a conservative amount of liquid from beans. Add chile powder, oregano, comino. Add salt if needed. Taste again.
  7. For the masa: Mix all ingredients on low mixer setting. After thoroughly mixed, beat (or knead) at medium for 15 minutes until masa dough is smooth. To check readiness, drop a small amount of masa in a glass filled with water. If masa floats, it's ready. 
  8. Using back of spoon, spread masa mixture thinly and evenly on inside of corn husk. Covering half the length of each husk. Fill with tamale filling and fold. Get 16 quart stock pot with lid, steamer with lid or tamalera: tamale steamer. Tamaleras as a rule come equipped with rack and lid. Stainless steel vegetable steamer fan like: sold in most grocery stores. Damp kitchen towel. The bottom of the pot is filled with hot water being careful not to cover the rack. The rack is covered with tamale husks that were left over from the ones used for the tamales. The vegetable steamer is placed over the husks bottom side up to give a dome effect. The tamales are placed open and up, side by side around the dome. Continue this process with about 2 dozen tamales. As the pot begins to fill up the tamales can be placed flat on top of each other. Corn husks again are used to cover the mound of tamales then cover with a cloth and close with the lid. The lid should fit well enough as to keep the steam in the pot. Bring to rapid boil, reduce heat, steam for 30 minutes. To test doneness, open husk. Tamale should be firm. Masa should not adhere to the husk. When cooked remove all tamales. Ready to eat.