Pollo Tamales con Salsa Verde

Elizabeth Lancaster


Pollo (means Chicken) Salsa Verde is (green Salsa)

Back in 2004 I was pregnant with my first son, and was craving Chicken Tamales, My best friend Xochitl Gutierrez made some of thee best tamales I had ever had, so we boiled 4 chickens and split the work and tamales between our two households. Now my son who is 9, LOVES tamales, so for Christmas this year(2013) I made him Pollo Tamales and Green salsa! I hope you find these tamales as satisfying as he does :) Enjoy!!!


★★★★★ 1 vote

10-15 People
3 Hr 30 Min
3 Hr



  • 6 c
    masa harina
  • 5 c
    warm water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 c
  • 3 Tbsp
    onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 3 Tbsp
    chile powder
  • 2 tsp
  • 2 large
    whole chickens (cage free) boiled and deboned/deskinned
  • 1 bag(s)
    corn husks

  • 1 lb
    tomatillos, fresh
  • 1/2 c
    chopped onion
  • 1 tsp
    minced garlic
  • 2
    whole jalapenos
  • 1 bunch
    fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tsp
  • 2 c

How to Make Pollo Tamales con Salsa Verde


  1. Place husks in large pot or large bowl; add water to cover. Place heavy plate on husks to keep submerged. Let stand until husks soften, turning occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
  2. Boil Chickens ( about 1 1/2 hr) together in a Large pot, save the broth for your Masa Mixture or you can use canned broth. skin and debone your chickens and set aside.
  3. While Chicken is cooking or after its deboned, Husk and wash the tomatillos.
    In a Medium pot on the stove top, on med-high heat add tomatillos,garlic,cilantro,onion,jalapenos,in water, simmer to a boil boil them until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
    Drain and put them into the bowl of a food processor.

    Blend until smooth.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine masa and warm water or broth until combined. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes or so to let the masa soften. Then mix it on low speed until a dough forms.
    After the Masa Harina is prepared, gradually add in the salt, cumin and onion powder by sprinkling them over the dough as you mix it.

    In a separate bowl, whip lard or shortening about three minutes or until fluffy. Add the lard to the dough a little at a time while mixing until well combined.
  5. Carefully separate the soaked corn husks, and place them on a towel on the countertop. Arrange your ingredients in the order you will be assembling them (at least that is how I have found is easiest).

    Corn Husks first

    Bowl of Masa Dough

    Add Meat

    Steamer pot to cook the tamales in
  6. use a spatula or your hand, take enough of the Prepared Masa to spread over the corn husks covering the top 2/3 and 2/3 of one side. You want the Masa to be about 1/4-inch thick.

    If you spread it too thick, it will be difficult to roll up with the meat added and it will squeeze out onto your hand or counter. If you make it too thin, you will have the meat falling out in the steamer.
  7. Add about 1 tablespoon chicken, spreading it evenly down the center of the masa (careful to leave 1/2-inch at the top and bottom, and room on the sides for the masa to close around the meat).
  8. Carefully roll the tamale, starting with the side covered with the Masa Dough. Turn right side over to center of filling; fold left side over filling, allowing plain part of husk to wrap around filling. Fold top end down over bottom end.

    Roll it snug, but not too tight. Too tight and you might end up with a hand full of Masa and this really cannot be used to make a new one.
  9. Take an extra large stock pot with a wire rack supported on two clean bricks (very well washed bricks). There are “tamale” pots you can buy that are made specifically for tamale making.
    fill the bottom of the steamer pot with water, making sure the bottoms of the tamales are not in the water.

    layer your tamales on their sides going every other direction with each layer, until all tamales are in the pot.
  10. Cover and bring just to a boil. Keep the water bubbling, not a hard boil. Once steam has begun to escape from the pot, reduce the heat to medium; keep these steaming for at least 2-3 hours, adding water as needed so the pot doesn’t go dry.
  11. The tamales are done when the Masa Dough around the meat feels firm there are no parts of uncooked dough left. To test the tamales for doneness, remove one tamale from the steamer. Let this cool for a moment or two. As you open the husks, the dough should come away easily from the husks and be completely smooth. To make doubly sure, open up the tamales and see if they are spongy and well cooked throughout.

    Remove the tamales, and let them rest on the counter for a few minutes. This will help them finish “setting” up and let them cool so no one burns their mouth

    They can be eaten right way, stored in containers in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, or they can be frozen for up to 3 months (that is if they last that long). If you use a vacuum sealer they can be kept frozen up to a year.

    To reheat the tamales, wrap in foil and place in 350 degree F. oven about 30 minutes.
  12. Can be eaten with sour cream and extra salsa, ( I always make a second batch of Verde Salsa (green Salsa) to smoother my tamales.

    IMPORTANT: Remember to remove the corn husk wrapper before you eat the tamale.


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