Being a Southern California girl not a Christmas season went by without wonderful homemade tamales to eat. Friends and co-workers always gave my parents a few dozen for the season. Our family truly loved them, yet for some reason my mother never had the desire to learn how to make them. But I did and in a big way. By the time I turned 17 I was helping with the entire tamale making process with my high school sweetheart’s mother, grandmother and aunts. Thanks to these ladies I not only learned how to make authentic homemade tamales but also how to develop recipes of my very own. This is one of those recipes.
I have to come completely clean here. When I first started my blog, almost a year ago, my tamale recipes were locked in my vault. I felt I would never share them. I was a bit protective, okay well extremely protective and selfish with them. A year has almost gone by and my feeling in regards to sharing my recipes have changed. Good timing, don’t ya think. I hope some of you will take the plunge and make some homemade tamales of your own. They are some work, but it’s easy work and so rewarding in the end.
Chipotle Chicken Filling Ingredients:
- 1 @ 5 pound whole chicken
- 2 tsp Mexican Oregano, ground (there is no substitution for this ingredient)
- 1 Tb ground Cumin
- 1 tsp ground Thyme
- 2 Tb all-purpose meat seasoning, (I get mine from “The Old Fashioned Butcher Shoppe” here in Evansville)
- 5 to 6 Chipotle Peppers, diced, (I use La Costena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, half of their 7 oz can)
- 1 cup chicken broth, make sure it’s the good stuff, (I use ” Das Dutchman Esenhaus Chicken Base” to make mine)
Rinse and pat dry the whole chicken. Run your fingers between the skin and meat to loosen the skin over the entire chicken. I have a wide crock pot so I now place the chicken in the crock pot. If your Mexican Oregano is whole as mine is take the time to grind it now. In a small bowl combine the ground Mexican Oregano, Cumin, Thyme and all-purpose meat seasoning. With your fingers rub this dry mixture in the space you have created between the skin and meat of the chicken, front, back and sides. Rub some of this mixture in the cavity of the bird also. Please don’t remove the skin of the chicken as it provides so much wonderful flavor to the meat. Take your diced Chipotle Peppers and place them also between the skin and meat and in the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken in your crock pot if you haven’t already done so. Pour the chicken broth over and around the seasoned chicken. Cover with the lid and cook for 2 hours on high, then lower the temperature to low and cook another 6 hours. Turn the crock pot off and let rest for 1 hour before removing the chicken from the pot. (I use my salad tongs to remove the chicken as it falls apart easily.) Remove and discard the skin and bones. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken, don’t cut the chicken, you’ll want to shred it for the right consistency. Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and let cool to just about room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for tomorrow’s process.
Day 2 of my Chipotle Chicken Tamales consist of making the Masa, assembling the tamales and steaming them. It will be posted tomorrow.