Chicken Tamales with Salsa Verde

By Food52
October 24, 2017
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Author Notes: This recipe is a combination of two different recipes: the tamales are from Chef Tello Carreon (formerly of Nixta in St. Louis), and the salsa verde Chef Kaelin Ulrich Trilling (formerly of Nashville's Bajo Sexto). The chicken that fills the tamales is stewed in the salsa verde, and the extra salsa verde is used as... well, salsa.

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Serves: 6-8

Salsa Verde

  • 12 jalapeños (13g)
  • 14 tomatillos (25g)
  • 2 bunches cilantro (6g), including the stems
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Husk the tomatillos. Wash all ingredients. In an 8-quart pot place the tomatillos, jalapenos, and enough water until all ingredients are covered. Boil until the tomatillos and jalapenos change color.
  2. Strain and place in a blender with the cilantro (making sure all stems are used). Add salt to taste. Adjust if necessary. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Tamales: Filling and Dough

  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken (boneless, skinless thighs are best)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salsa verde (see above), divided
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 12 ounces salsa verde
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup lard
  • 1 8-oz package dry corn husks
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Make the filling: In an oven-proof saucepan or skillet, heat oil and roast chicken with salt until browned. Add salsa verde. Place chicken with salsa verde in the oven for 45 minutes at 400° until meat is tender and fully braised. Remove and let cool. Separate chicken from salsa verde, and keep aside. Reserve salsa verde to add later.
  2. Make the dough: Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the salsa verde until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more salsa verde as necessary to form a spongy dough.
  3. Shred or break the chicken into small pieces. Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2-inch thickness. Place about one tablespoon of the chicken filling into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.
  4. Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining salsa verde over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the salsa verde.

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