Chicken Tamale Recipe
20-30 Corn Husks
Prepared De Alba Tamale Dough
1-4 LBS Whole Chicken (skinless and cut-up)
4 C Water
1 Medium Onion (cut in half)
6 Large Garlic Cloves
Before beginning the preparation, soak corn husks in a container of hot water for 1-2 hours to make them pliable. Keep them submerged.
Bring to boil 4 cups of water in a pot. Add chicken, onion, garlic cloves, and salt. Reduce to medium low heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until cooked. Remove chicken from broth, cool, debone, shred or cut up. Blend the left over broth with the onion and garlic cloves and the masa flour or prepared masa. Pour in pot and add meat and remaining spices. Simmer for 15-20 minutes to condense liquid and thicken the filling mixture.
Drain cornhusks and stand them in a container with narrow ends to the top. Husks have a rough and smooth side. Take one husk with smooth side facing forward and pointed end up. Spread masa starting in the middle about 3-4 inches from the bottom and spread to the bottom and sides. This should be a thin layer of masa about 1/8 inch thick. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of meat mixture. After spreading meat mixture onto masa spread up on husk, you can add optional ingredients before rolling it. Optional ingredients: corn, squash, roasted peppers, cheese, etc. Roll husk over from one side to the other and overlap. Now fold top of husk down and squeeze bottom of tamale. Every tamale can be individually tied with a string or left over thin strips of husk if desired. Also, tamales can be tied in bundles of ½ dozen.
Position tamales, folded part down, in a steamer basket that is deep enough. If not, just lay on basket carefully with folded points facing down. Position basket in pot with 2-3 inches of water and bring to boil, and cover well with tight fitting lid. Lower heat and steam in medium low for 1 hour. If water was not sufficient, add more water during the cooking process but let the tamales steam an extra 15 minutes to make up for heat lost.
Turn heat off and let tamales set covered for 10 minutes before handling them to avoid breaking them.
Freshly cooked tamales taste better than reheated, therefore, tamales can be kept uncooked frozen, and cooked as needed.