I absolutely love Tamales….and have for quite some time now been on a quest to create Mexi-Q with all my leftover BBQ!  Brisket Chili, Chicken Enchilladas and Tacos, Pork Enchilladas and more.

Here is a recipe I made with some smoked chicken that turned out awesome!  It was my first crack at homemade tamales….and though it was mildly time consuming – it was well worth it.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 6 cups Corn Mesa Mix
  • 6 cups Chicken or Beef broth (match with meat selection; chicken broth for pork)
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 – 3 lbs of smoked chicken, brisket or pork! (you could also use 2 store bought cooked roaster chickens for simplicity sake – a local store in Omaha, SuperSaver, sells them smoked)
  • 2 cans salsa; I personally use homemade from the garden – but a good mexican salsa works well.  Tomatoes, cilantro and jalepeno would be all you need.
  • 1 bag corn husks

Instructions

  • Soak the corn husks in warm water until soft.
  • Blend with an electric mixer Mesa corn mix for tamales, corn oil, salt, baking powder and the chicken broth to obtain a consistent mixture.

  • Shred the meat selection (this is chicken) and marinate in the salsa for 60 minutes in the fridge

  • Spread masa evenly over corn husks, and spread a spoonful of marinated chicken on top of the masa.

  • Fold the sides of the corn husk to center over the masa so that they overlap to make along package.
  • Fold the empty part of the husk under so that it rest against the side of the tamale with a seam.
    • Place the tamales in a steamer (or in my case a steamer pot, which I’ll cover with another pot as a lid!) and cook tamales for 45-60 minutes.

    • Check every 20 minutes.The tamales are cooked when they separate easily from the corn husk.  It may take longer than I specify depending on how often you open the lid and the type of steamer!
    • Let them cool quite a bit before eating – they get better with time and can be reheated in the microwave perfectly!

    I like to top them off with a Mexican Chile Gravy recipe I came up with.  I highly recommend it!

    Ingredients

    • 1 TBSP Butter (you can add more of this up to 1/4 cup for even more rich flavor, but I like to keep the calories out)
    • 4 TBSP flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered garlic
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 2 cups chicken broth

    Directions

    • Take about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and whisk the flour into it, slowly.  Creating a smooth paste.  (Hint:  This trick works well for any gravy and avoids the clumps flour can create!)
    • Heat all the other ingredients to a mild boil and whisk in the flour paste you made above. 
    • Whisk constantly until the gravy is the thickness you desire, over low to medium heat – about 10 minutes.
    • You can add or subtract the flour to your liking – totally up to you!
    • Use this gravy on top of your tamales and enjoy!

    Hope you enjoy!

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