Who doesn’t love tamales? They are one of my many favorite Mexican foods. All that goodness wrapped into a delicious package. They, along with Pozole are a traditional Christmas food in Mexico. Who can wait all the way until then to eat them? I sure can’t, tamales are one of those foods that you want to keep around in your freezer to heat up and enjoy all year round. I have helped make tamales many times but have always been disgusted by the massive amounts of lard that goes into them. Now I know lard can be a healthy fat if it’s from a properly raised pig but I don’t have that option so I don’t use lard. So I decided to dedicate a day to making salsa verde tamales con pollo (chicken tamales with green sauce). I thought that I would consume my entire day but it didn’t! Of course I only made about 4 dozen, normally people make 100 plus. Since this was an experimental batch I didn’t want to make very many. I hope you enjoy this yummy treat!!
So first off I started my morning off with roasting my chicken. I popped it into the oven and then went for a walk. When I walked in the door I was greeted by the intoxicating aroma of chicken mingling with garlic, onions and spices!
4 to 5lb chicken (preferably free range grass feed)
10 cloves of garlic
1/2 large onion
4 Cup of water
1. Place your chicken into a roasting pan or dutch oven. I left the organs and the neck for added flavor.
2. Put garlic cloves under the skin of the chicken
3. Chop the onion and scatter around the bottom of the pan. Pour in water.
4. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle the cumin and salt all over the bird.
5. Cover the pan and place in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 to 3 hours. My chicken was partially frozen so it took 3 hours to cook. If your chicken is completely defrosted then you will need to cook it for a much shorter time.
6. Once the chicken has cooled a bit remove the meat and sheard. Save the bones to make a nourishing and delicous broth. Reserve the water in the bottom of the pan that is now a yummy broth for making the tamale dough.
This chicken is now ready for making tamales. You can also use the meat in salad for a yummy Mexican twist. Or just serve it as is with rice and a veggie.
After lunch I decided to start the salsa. This is a very simple recipe that takes very little time to make yet tastes delicious!
Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)
1 Pablano chile
1 Jalepeno chile
2 Serano chiles
1/4 yellow onion
1/3 of a bunch of cilantro
1 tsp Sea salt
1. Remove the hulls from the tomatillos. They will be sticky, don’t worry if you can’t wash it all off. Remove the stems.
2. Place all the tomatillos and chiles into a sauce pot. Cover with water and boil until soft.
3. Remove the tomatillos and chiles from the water and place in a blender. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
4. It’s as simple as that. A yummy salsa perfect for tamales, eating with chip or putting on top of whatever you’re eating!
Tamale Dough (Masa)
I would have liked to use an organic version of masa but I couldn’t find one at the time of making the tamales. I used Maseca brand. You can find an organic masa on amazon.
6 cups Masa (corn flour, NOT corn meal)
2 tsp Sea salt
6 TBS Organic Palm Shortening
4 cups Chicken broth (reserved from roasting your chicken)
1 cup Salsa verde
Okay now come the part where you asemble the tamales! I was taking pictures if the process but forgot to part way through. So next time I make them I will have to take some more pictures and add them in.
Salsa Verde Tamales
2 cups Salsa Verde
10 to 40 green olives
4 medium potatoes
1. Remove the corn husks from the bag and place them in a pot of hot water. Continue to heat on low for at least 30 minutes. You want them to be pliable.
2. Add your shreded chicken to a skillet and cover with about two cups of salsa verde.