Chile Today, Hot Tamales!

With Noche Buena two nights away, and my two pernils (all 35 pounds of them!) dressed in wet garlic adobo in the refrigerator, my task for today was to make the tamales that I will be serving to my family and friends at our Christmas Eve celebration. I know, I KNOW, traditionally I serve pasteles, but this year I’m on a tamale high, so I thought I’d shake things up a little bit.

I decided to make two different types of tamales, one with pork and another version with chicken. I’ve also uploaded (with the help of my intrepid assistant, Carolina, a short video, showing the easy basic technique for tamale assembly. The recipe for the Chicken Tamale version is as follows:

Chicken Tamales

1-3pound chicken, cut up
1 large Spanish Onion
1 head of garlic, papery outer skins removed
1 bunch of cilantro, rinsed and tied in a bunch
1 sweet red bell pepper, cored, seeds removed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
salt to taste

Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and cook for 40 minutes. Remove chicken and strain the broth, then shred the chicken and set aside.
*This will yield 5 cups or so of shredded chicken and the broth for making the masa of the tamale.

For the Chicken Picadillo
5 cups of shredded chicken (from recipe above)
1 cup of sofrito
1/4 cup alcaparrado
2 tablespoons achiote oil
1/2 jalapeno, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
salt and pepper

*See video for procedure

MASA
6 cups MASECA
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chipotle chile powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 quarts of chicken broth (from recipe above)
2 cups vegetable oil

* See video for procedure.

FELIZ NAVIDAD!! Let me know how you liked your tamales!

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2 Responses to “Chile Today, Hot Tamales!”


  1. 1 Maria Esteves February 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Daisy LOVE the show and you. One question about the pork and the preparation of such. I have “pernil” left over and would love to try the pork tamales, how do you prepare the leftover pork to do these tamales and do you use the same masa for them as well as the “sofrito” sauce for the pernil that you used for the chicken? Keep the blog coming and I do hope to see you back on Food Network.


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