Mexican Tamales

Lisa Kudek


My families recipe for Tamales

pinch tips: How to Debone a Chicken





5 Hr


1 Hr 30 Min




2 whole chickens cooked and deboned.
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground oregano
4 tbsp ground garlic or garlic paste
4 tbsp of salt (2 for masa, 2 for chili seasoning)
1 large bag of chilis ancho or gaujillo chilis
1 large bag of corn husks (when you get ready to make tamales, put entire stack in warm water to soften)
1- 4.5 lb of corn masa flour
2 tbsp of baking powder
2 lbs of lard softened
1 cup water
1 blender

Directions Step-By-Step

Preparing the Chilis
(wear rubber gloves and do not touch your face)
Cut the end of the chilis and slice them down the side removing all the seeds. Do that until you have done the entire bag of chilis. Throw away the seeds. After completing this you have to boil the chilis until they are soft enough to tear with your fingers. When they have reached this consistency you can place them in a blender with all the seasonings ,2 of the tbsp of salt and a cup of water, blend until the consistency of gravy. Mix this in the deboned chicken, now the meat is done.

Preparing the Masa:
Take entire package of dry masa flour, mix in the salt and baking powder, 2 tbsp of salt, adding the 2lbs of lard and can of chicken stock/chicken water until it is smooth and creamy. The old fashioned way is to use your hands to mix it but if you have a kitchen aid mixer, that works the best, regular mixer is ok but this gets really thick. Now the Masa is ready!

Constructing Tamales:
The first thing you want to do is separate all the corn husks after they are soft and place the spread, about 2 serving spoons of masa in the middle of corn husk leaving 3 inches on top and bottom. Take 1 large tablespoon of meat mixture in the middle and make a tri-fold of the corn husk bending the bottom end up. Keep going until all the masa/meat/corn husks are gone or you have the amount of tamales you want.
Cooking the Tamales:
Take all your tamales place them standing up in a colander or large steamer in a tall stock pot with a upside down bowl in the stock pot to keep tamales out of the water and steam for 90 minutes (you start counting 90 minutes when you first put it on the stove) Not when it starts boiling. Cook for entire 90 minutes, when they come out they will be soft and will harden as they start to cool.
Eat and enjoy!

About this Recipe

Main Ingredient: Pork
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tag: Heirloom