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Chicken Salsa Verde Tamales are incredibly DELICIOUS! These little wrapped goodies are perfect for the Holidays and special occasions.
They’re SO tasty. My max is 4. I might be able to eat 5, if they’re small. 😉
Here, I’ll give you all the tips and tricks of master tamale makers!
More Mexican Tamales Recipes:
For the filling
Sticking an entire chicken in a stock pot is super easy, and you also get chicken broth to put in the freezer for later use.
Two thumbs up to that!
You can even use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Simply remove the skin.
- Once it’s cooked, let the chicken cool.
- Then remove the skin and the chicken.
Be careful with those bones! Best to remove the meat, then check it again for bones.
Prep ahead and do this ahead of time, even days ahead.
How to Prepare the Husks
- Before soaking, separate the corn husks.
- Remove any corn hair and shake off any dust.
Word to the Wise:Don’t skip this step!
Corn husks were hanging outside. They carry dust and dirt. Sometimes, you’ll even find bugs.
- Soak the dry corn husks in warm water.
- Put something heavy on top of the husks while they are soaking.
Those suckers like to float yet I’ve never seen them do the backstroke. That’s why putting something heavy on the corn husks will ensure they are submerged in water.
- 20 minutes in hot water.
- Overnight is best.
Making homemade masa dough is easier than you think.
Most grocery stores nowadays sell masa harina to make masa.
Or, if you’re lucky enough to live near a Mexican grocery store, you can save some time and buy it already made.
How to Assemble
- Spread a thin layer of masa on a corn husk.
- Add cooked chicken.
- Add salsa verde.
- Fold and set aside standing up.
This is no Henry Ford automated assembly line. Assembly requires hands.
Get the kids, the neighbors, friends into the kitchen. Then lock the doors. LOL. No escape until the tamales are done!
Make a party out of it. Tamaladas are parties where people get together and make tamales.
- Add water to the bottom of a large steamer and add the insert.
- Place a few corn husks on top of the insert.
- Assemble the tamales around the pot with the OPEN-SIDE UP.
- Cover and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Corn husks break and rip. Use those for the bottom of the steamer pot.
Please Note: Old school Mexican cooks will tell you to add coins to the bottom of the pot. The rustling of the coins will tell you if there’s water in the pot. DO NOT do this!
Coins are dirty, and there are metallic properties in coins.
5 Tips on How to Make Tamales Faster:
1- Boil an entire chicken. Use half for your dinner that night, and save the rest in a container in the fridge or freezer.
2- If you can’t make it from scratch, you can use a can of salsa verde.
3- You can buy a rotisserie chicken.
4- Got leftovers? Freeze them for tamales. Cooked chicken can freeze for up to 4 months.
5- Don’t make your masa, buy it.
Chicken Salsa Verde Tamales are not hard to make. They are simply time consuming. Once you serve and taste them, you’ll see they are worth the effort.
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Chicken Salsa Verde Tamales
For the Filling:
For the Corn Husks:
- 36 Corn Husks
- Water (enough to cover the husks)
For the Filling:
- Rinse chicken and remove any gizzards from the inside.
- Place chicken in a large stockpot.
- Add garlic, bay leaf, onion, salt and pepper.
- Then add enough water to almost cover the entire chicken.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the pot and let cool.
- Strain the liquid and set aside for another recipe.
- Once the chicken has cooled, separate the meat from the bones.
- Set chicken meat aside.
- Discard the bones.
For the Corn Husks:
- Separate the corn husks.
- Remove any debris, corn hair, or bugs that you may find.
- Place in a large pot and cover with hot water.
- Add a heavy object (like a pot lid) to fully submerge the husks.
- The husks should be pliable in order to use.
- Minimum 20 minutes. Best overnight.
For the Tamales:
- Smear a thin layer of prepared masa on each corn husk.
- To the middle of the masa layer, use your best judgement as to how much chicken to add.
- Add salsa verde to the chicken. Again, using your best judgement.
- Fold one side of the corn husk in.
- Fold the other side in.
- Fold the pointy top to the center of the tamale.
- Set standing up while assembling the other tamales.
- Repeat until there are no more corn husks left.
- Add 2 cups of hot water to a steamer pot.
- Add the insert and place some corn husks on the insert.
- Place all the uncooked tamales to the pot.
- The tamales should be standing with the open side up.
- Cover and cook on low for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Turn off the heat and let the pot stand covered for 30 minutes.
- The tamales are ready when masa peels away from the corn husks easily.