Chicken Tamales with Adobo


64 dried corn husks, 4 husks reserved

Tamale Dough:

6-7 Cups instant corn masa for tamales
1-1/4 Cups shortening
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 Cups chicken broth

Chicken Filling:

1/3 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
2 Tbsp Adobo Seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Cups chicken broth
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 Cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar –Traditional White Balsamic works great!
1/2 tsp dried Mexican Oregano
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
4 Cups shredded cooked chicken breast

Pull 1/4-inch strings from reserved husks to wrap tamales or use twine; set aside. Cover the corn husks (including the strings you just pulled) with warm water and allow to stand until husks are pliable, at least 30 minutes.

While the corn husks soak, combine all the ingredients for the tamale dough in a big bowl. Mix the dough using an electric mixer until ingredients are well combined, adding additional chicken broth, if needed, to create a soft dough.

Put all the tamale filling ingredients (except the olive oil and shredded chicken) in a blender or bowl of a food processor (fitted with the steel purée blade). Cover tightly and blend/pulse until filling is smooth.

Pour oil into a 3-quart saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat. Stir in blended tomato filling mixture. Cook filling for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is heated through. Reduce heat to medium and add shredded chicken to the skillet; continue to cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. Drain red sauce from the chicken filling; reserve to serve over tamales, if desired.

Drain water from corn husks and pat dry with paper towels. Put 3 Tbsp of tamale dough on each corn husk, and use the back of a spoon to make an indentation in the middle, spreading the dough out from the middle. Put Tbsp of the filling in the center of dough, then fold the dough around around filling. (If husks are too narrow to accommodate your tamale, overlap two corn husks). Fold the bottom third of corn husk over the filling; fold the sides in towards the center. Tie tops of the completed tamales with the corn husk strings you soaked earlier.

Steam the tamales: Using a stock pot or Dutch oven outfitted with a steamer basket or “cooling” rack, pour boiling water in the pot, until it reaches almost to the top of the rack. (Careful, though! The boiling water should not touch the tamales.) Place tamales on rack. Stand the tamales inside pots, leaning them against the sides all around. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium-low, allowing the tamales to simmer gently for about an hour, or until the tamale dough becomes firm. Add more boiling water if needed.  When tamales are done steaming, allow them to “rest” in the pan, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.

Serve: Unfold the tamales by removing the string that secures each piece, and gingerly opening the husk. Arrange on individual plates or a serving platter, and spoon the reserved sauce over each tamale (optional).

Adapted from Betty Crocker