Child-Tested and Not Too Spicy
Although it's well-worth it for the holidays, tamale-making can be time and labor intensive. Since this recipe calls for pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, you can cut the preparation time in half by omitting the garlic and
Adapted by the mother of young children for a classroom project, the flavor
is quite mild. Stephanie says,
"I was pretty sure when I began this project that tamales would work in the crockpot, but wanted to wait until closer to the holidays so I could tie them together with one of my favorite children's books, Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto.
They did work, and I brought them to my daughter's class yesterday to share. So these have been kid-tested not only by my own two, but byRelated: DIY VIDEO | Mexican Pork Tamales ~ 6 Easy Steps
18 second-graders. They liked them."
- 1 (3-1/2 lb) deli rotisserie chicken
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
- 1 (6 oz) package dried corn husks
- 4 cups masa harina
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/3 cups lard
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Remove chicken meat from the bones, and combine with the onion, garlic, chilies, cumin, salt, and corn in a 4 or 6.5 quart crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6. If you want to save a lot of time, simply omit the onion and garlic. Combine the chicken with the chiles, cumin, salt, and drained corn in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Soften the corn husks by soaking them in very hot water until pliable.
- To make the dough, combine the masa harina, broth, baking powder, salt and lard in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-to-high speed until the ingredients are well-combined and the dough is the consistency of soft cookie dough. To check the dough, drop a little ball of it into a glass of water. If it doesn't float, then continue to beat the dough until it does.
- Take a large golf-ball size piece of masa dough, and spread it into a wet corn husk. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Add some chicken filling, and some shredded cheese. Fold the corn husk over to join the edges of the masa. Fold all corn husk edges into the center. Place the tamales into the bottom of an empty crockpot, seam side down. (If you are making appetizers, split the husks in half lengthwise, and use a smaller amount of masa and filling. Tie both ends with string, as shown in the top illustration.)
- Repeat again and again until all the tamales are made (approx. 2 hours). If you find that your corn husks are unraveling, tear off a long pieces of husk to tie around the middle of each one.
- When the crockpot is full, put on the lid and cook tamales on high for 4-6 hours. Use one tamale as a tester, unwrapping it every 45 minutes after the 4-hour mark. (The tamales on the edges will cook a little faster.) Once your tester tamale looks and tastes good, take the lid off and unplug the crockpot. Let the tamales set for about 15 minutes before serving. Unwrap and garnish with fresh fresh pico de gallo and/or sour cream.
Source: Adapted from Stephanie O'Dea
Photos: TheresaCarleSanders, NateGray & larryjh1234 (Flickr)
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