la tamalada

In In My Kitchen on February 22, 2011 at 8:39 am

In December, I wrote about adventures I was planning for this year. My friend Mayra helped me check off one of those adventures when she invited me and a few friends to make tamales with her. I was tasked with purchasing the corn husks, so I checked out Anita Spanish Grocery in Annapolis to pick up the corn husks and fulfill my tienda shopping goal (and I picked up some horchata drink boxes for the kids, which won me major points).

In Mayra’s hometown in Mexico, tamales are traditional fare on el dia de la Candaleria (Candlemas in English), when the Catholic church marks the presentation of Jesus at the temple. A few of our amigas gathered in Mayra’s kitchen recently to whip up a batch of tamales.

Mayra had cooked up some chicken ahead of time, shredded it, and mixed it up with a batch of mole she brought back from a recent visit to Mexico.

2 large rotisserie chickens

1 jar mole sauce

1 large bag corn husks

6 cups masa flour for tamales

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup lard or vegetable shortening

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder


Shred the chicken and marinate in the mole sauce.

Soak the corn husks in warm water until soft, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl combine broth, masa flour, salt, and baking powder, using your hands. Once well combined, beat masa mixture and lard or shortening in a mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until a drop of the mixture floats in water as clump rather than falling apart.

Take a corn husk in your hand and spread a large spoonful of masa in the middle (use 2 husks if they are narrow). Spread a large spoonful of marinated chicken on top of the masa. Fold the sides of the corn husk toward the center over the masa so that they overlap to make along package. Between two fingers, pinch the husk package at the bottom of the masa portion and push upward to help form a seam. Fold the bottom part of the husk up.

Place the tamales in a steamer or double boiler open ends up, and cook tamales for 35-40 minutes. Check every 20 minutes.The tamale is cooked when it separates easily from the corn husk.


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