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Chicken and Green Salsa Tamales


This delicious recipe for chicken and green salsa tamales comes courtesy of Oscar De La Hoya.

  • Yield: Makes 12

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, September 2006


  • 15 large dried corn husks, plus more for cooking
  • 1 cup lard, unsalted butter, or shortening
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 cups store-bought masa harina
  • 1 3/4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock, heated
  • 3 medium tomatillos, papery skins removed
  • 2 to 3 jalapenos, stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 extra-large (3/8-ounce) cube chicken-flavored bouillon (such as Knorr)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 12 2-by-1/2-inch strips
  • Mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 2-by-1/2-inch strips


  1. Place corn husks into a large heatproof bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the husks to cover. Place a heatproof plate on the husks to keep them submerged. Let soak for 1 hour. Remove, and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together lard and 2 teaspoons salt on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the masa harina and stock. Continue to beat until well combined and smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

  3. Bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil. Add the tomatillos and jalapenos and cook until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to the jar of a blender along with the garlic, cilantro, onion, and bouillon. Blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, adding a little water, if needed.

  4. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add chicken and tomatillo mixture. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.

  5. Working with the grain, tear 3 corn husks lengthwise into 24 quarter-inch-wide strips. Set aside.

  6. Place one of the remaining 12 corn husks on work surface; pat dry. Position corn husk so the small end is parallel to the edge of your work surface. Place 1/4 cup of the masa mixture onto the center, but slightly closer to the bottom, of the corn husk. Spread into a rectangle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border on the small end and a 1-inch border around the other three sides. Place about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of the masa mixture, followed by a piece of potato and then a piece of cheese. Bring the two long sides of the husk together to enclose the filling. Fold the ends under, tying with 2 of the reserved strips to secure. Repeat process with remaining husks and filling.

  7. Fill a tamale steamer, or a stockpot fitted with a steamer insert, with enough water to come just below the level of the steamer. Line the bottom of the steamer insert with a layer or corn husks. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and add tamales so that they stand (upright) in the pot. Cover with damp paper towels. Steam for 1 hour and 15 minutes, adding more water if necessary. To check for doneness, unwrap a tamale. When done, dough will come free from corn husk and feel soft. If dough sticks to corn husk, rewrap, and steam 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes to allow the masa to firm up. They will remain warm for about an hour.

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