sharing tamales ~

i lived in santa fe, new mexico until i was in 4th grade ~ it wasn’t so much a city to me, but an expression ~ an expression of color, cultures, cooking, an expression of sharing all of this with those who were around you ~ my first taste of tamales was in santa fe. during the holidays, the ladies that worked for my parents would share these wrapped, steamy pillows of masa and piquant pork ~ a shared tradition is my expression now.  during the holidays, i now make and share tamales with family and friends ~ travis and jaime, this is for you ~

meat for tamales

  • 4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (I use a combo of breast and thighs)
  • 1 container of Bueno green or red chile (frozen aisle at the commissary)
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can green chile and tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth

place all ingredients in a large stock pot ~ bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 – 4 hours until chicken is tender ~ remove chicken to a cutting board ~ allow to cool slightly; shred chicken with two forks or with your hands, replace back into broth mixture; measure out liquid as needed for masa.


  • 3-4 cups Masa Harina
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening (lard, if you want to stick to tradition)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups hot stock from meat mixture

mix all ingredients with hands until light and fluffy; cool

corn husks

it is necessary to wash husks very well ~ when cleaned, place in a large casserole and cover with boiling water to soften ~ keep covered with water until ready to assemble tamales.

to assemble: spread about 2 tablespoons of masa mixture down the center of clean, softened corn husk, use hands to spread evenly; place 1 T meat mixture in center, cover with masa; fold edges of corn husks toward the center, bring up the bottom flap to create a little envelope ~ tie off with long strip of corn husk or kitchen string. repeat until finished.  place about 3 inches of water in the bottom of tamale pot, place first steam wrack and fill with tamales, repeat with remaining wrack and tamales; steam in pot for about one hour.

note: you can find large tamale steamers at any traditional mexican grocer or online.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dave says:

    If your brother loved you he could send you Hatch Chile from here


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