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Chicken tamales


The tamale is a traditional dish made by filling a masa coated leaf with any number of ingredients and then cooked by steam. You may think making tamales is hard but nothing could further from the truth as we show you here.


1 cn broth (chicken broth, 10.5 oz can)
1⁄2 t salt
2⁄3 c lard
1 pk corn husk (dried corn husks, 8 oz package)
12 cilantro lime chicken (as filling)


In a large bowl add all of the tamale ingredients and mix well. Your dough should be spongy when you’re done. You may need to add a little more liquid to get the desired consistency.

Taking one corn husk spread a 1/4-1/2 inch thick layer of the dough in the center. Don’t spread it to the bottom edge as it will be folded over.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of filling to the center of the dough.

Fold one side of the husk into the center and then fold in the other side. Finally, fold up the bottom end.

Repeat for remaining tamales.

Place tamales in your steamer. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a large stock pot with a steamer basket or even a strainer – just anything that will hold the tamales above the boiling water.  

Lay your steam basket on its side and stack the tamales in so that the folded bottom of the tamale is at the bottom of the steam basket. This allows the tamales to stand upright when cooking and they seem to cook more evenly. That being said, you can lay them down or set them in a tipi format. It really doesn’t matter as long as the boiling water cannot reach them.

Add enough water to your steamer or stock pot to create steam but keeping it away from the steam basket bottom. Place a lid on the pot/steamer and steam for 1 hour.

12 servings
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
1 hour, 40 minutes


Most often you see tamales filled with seasoned beef, chicken or pork but you’ll also find them made with vegetables, cheese and fruit. Many like to serve tamales with a red mole or salsa but in our opinion that just dilutes the delicious flavor of the tamal.

Important! After about 30 minutes, check that your water level is still ok. If you need to add more water, that’s perfectly OK.


Mexican cuisine

Tamales are part of the Mexican food history.

moderate, steam
poultry, main meal
Mexican food recipes
Food in America