Time for Tamales

So I had a bunch of tomatillos from our CSA and when I searched Authentic Mexican for a salsa verde recipe, I found a great recipe for pulled chicken tamales with salsa verde.  So, that’s what was for dinner.

Week: 39 of 52

Cookbook: Authentic Mexican, Rick Bayless

I might have done this on a weekend had I realized just how involved tamales making is, but apparently I’m not that smart!

Step 1: Soak the dried cornhusks.

Step 2: Poach and shred the chicken.

Step 3: Make masa mixture.  Add water to ground grits, then mix in masa harina. (This is the substitute method, in place of fresh masa.)

Step 4: Make salsa verde. Blend tomatillos and chilies with onion, garlic, & cilantro.  Then simmer with broth and season salt.

Step 5: Actually make the freakin’ tamales!

Mix the masa with lard (or in this case, a mixture of butter, shortening, and reserved bacon fat) and chicken broth (fresh from poaching the chicken).  Add baking powder and season with salt.

Mix chicken with salsa.

In cornhusks, place a couple tablespoons of the masa and some of the chicken. Wrap and seal.

Steam the tamales open end up in a cornhusk lined steamer for 60 – 90 minutes.

Unwrap & eat!

I served the tamales with a grilled corn salad and a little extra salsa verde.  And they were good!  I was surprised at the amount of flavor in the filling, but I suppose the various layers of flavor added throughout the process really worked.


  • Cornhusks
  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Dried herbs
  • Quick-cooking grits
  • Masa harina
  • Water
  • Baking powder
  • Tomatillos
  • Chili peppers
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Chicken broth
  • Lard (or something comparable)

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