Tamales are a project, but so worth it—especially with friends or family helping with assembly. This recipe comes from chef Jorge Guzmán of Petite León in Minneapolis

Source: Midwest Living


Credit: Kevin Miyazaki

Recipe Summary

1 hr 30 mins
8 hrs 30 mins
24 tamales




Instructions Checklist
  • For filling: Place chicken on a platter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Refrigerate, uncovered, 6 hours to dry brine.

  • Heat a dry extra-large skillet over medium-high. Add tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeños and garlic; toast until charred and blistered, turning occasionally and removing items from skillet when done, 3 to 4 minutes for garlic and 10 to 12 minutes for the other ingredients. (Alternatively, you can broil the ingredients on a foil-lined baking pan, 4 to 5 inches from the heating element. The cooking times are roughly the same.) Peel garlic when cool. Remove stems and seeds from chiles.

  • Place tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeños, garlic, chicken stock, half of the cilantro, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a high-powered blender or food processor. Cover and blend until sauce is smooth.

  • In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken; cook until browned, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove chicken from Dutch oven. Add onion; cook 2 minutes.

  • Return chicken to Dutch oven and top with tomatillo mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Partially cover and simmer until chicken is tender and shreds easily, 30 to 35 minutes. Shred chicken using two forks; discard bones.

  • Chop the remaining cilantro; stir cilantro and oregano into shredded chicken.

  • For masa: Place lard in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add 1 tablespoon chicken stock and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Continue beating until light and fluffy. Add masa harina and baking powder; beat 1 minute. Remove masa from mixer and separate into four portions.

  • With the mixer running, alternately add the remaining stock and the masa portions. Continue beating until dough is aerated and fluffy, about 10 minutes. The masa is ready when a dollop of dough floats in cold water.

  • Meanwhile, place husks in a very large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 to 45 minutes or until soft. Drain well; pat dry.

  • To assemble tamales: Lay a corn husk on a work surface with the narrow end close to you. Spoon a good dollop (about 3 rounded tablespoons) of masa about 1 inch from the wide end. Press a divot into the masa with the back of a spoon; fill it with about 2 tablespoons filling. Press filling flat with the back of the spoon. Bring the sides of the corn husk together over the filling. Grasp the closed corn husk above the filling. Press down with one hand while pulling up the sides of the corn husk with your other hand to enclose the filling with masa and shape the mixture into a cylinder. Roll the corn husk around the cylinder, then fold the narrow end up toward the opposite end, pressing to compact the cylinder further. Tie with a corn husk strip, if you like. (But you don't need it.) Place tamales on a platter or in a bowl with open ends up until all are assembled.

  • To steam tamales: Place a large steamer basket in an 8-quart pot. Add water to just below the basket. Stand tamales upright in steamer basket with open ends up. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and steam until corn husks easily pull away from masa and masa is spongy and cooked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover; let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve tamales with salsa and crema.


Or preheat broiler. Place tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeños and garlic in a foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan and broil until blackened, charred and blistered, turning occasionally and removing items when done (about 3 minutes for the garlic and 10 minutes for the other ingredients). Peel garlic when cool. Remove stems and seeds from chiles.


Layer cooled tamales (in husks) in an airtight container. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw tamales in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, place a few tamales on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

250 calories; fat 14g; cholesterol 61mg; saturated fat 4g; carbohydrates 17g; mono fat 5g; poly fat 3g; insoluble fiber 2g; sugars 2g; protein 14g; vitamin a 135.8IU; vitamin c 29.9mg; thiamin 0.1mg; riboflavin 0.1mg; niacin equivalents 3.2mg; vitamin b6 0.3mg; folate 6.8mcg; vitamin b12 0.2mcg; sodium 361mg; potassium 227mg; calcium 49mg; iron 2.1mg.