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Sweet and Savory Tomatillo Tamales


Tomatillo Chicken Sauce: (we doubled this, so it's more in the photos. We used the extra sauce in quesadillas and tacos later in the week.)

  • 1 onion peeled & diced
  • 1 garlic clove peeled whole
  • 1 pablano chili diced and no seeds (unless you like heat)
  • 5 to matillos peeled & cubed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 lbs. chicken boneless

Masa Dough: (this is the same amount as you see in the photos, only our tomatillo sauce was doubled)

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 chicken boulon cubes
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup lard yes, lard. This is found by the shortening or in the Hispanic food isle
  • 1/2 bag of masa this is like flour, but it makes a dough. Also found in the Hispanic food isle

Corn Husks


Tomatillo Chicken Sauce:

  1. Prepare the vegetables and cook them in a pot with the oil and salt and pepper. Let this simmer for 10-15 minutes until they cook down.
  2. Pour this mixture into a blender, adding the 1/4 cup water. Then puree until smooth. Add your sugar and blend again.
  3. Cook your chicken whole in a pot on medium heat. Let them brown for 5 or so minutes. Then pour your blended sauce onto the chicken. You'll let this simmer for 1 hour, letting all the juices meld.
  4. Once it's cooked through after an hour or so, take 2 forks and shred the meat apart right in the pot. Now it's ready to be the filling.

Corn Husks:

  1. Start to soak the corn husk just before you start the Masa dough.
  2. Once they're soaked, set them on a towel to dry.
  3. A few of them will get peeled into strips for tying the tamales later.

Masa Dough

  1. Bring to a boil - the water, sugar, salt, boulon cubes, red pepper, and lard.
  2. Once it's at a boil, pour in one cup at a time of masa, and stir.
  3. Keep pouring in the masa until you get the consistency of a thick, almost sticky dough. It will start to pull away from the sides. Now it's ready.

Tamale Train Assembly Line:

  1. Tamales need to be steamed, so you will need some sort of steaming pot to cook them in. But some rice cookers have them or you can use a steaming basket placed in a large cooking pot.
  2. We're ready to assemble these tamales. Line up all your items, the masa dough, the corn husks, the tomatillo sauce, the corn husk strips, and a plate to stack.
  3. Place a heaping spoonful of masa dough onto a corn husk. Using a second corn husk, mash it down into a large oval shape.
  4. Scoop a spoonful of chicken tomatillo sauce onto the dough. Roll the dough, so that it seals together. The ends don't need to be pressed together, but you do want to shape the dough around the sauce as best as you can.
  5. Wrap the corn husk around the dough and tie each end with a strip of corn husk.
  6. Place them on top of each other in the steamer, criss-cross style. Let them steam for 1 hour.
  7. Now it's time to eat and enjoy