Ingredients: yields about 2 1/2 dozen tamales
- 1 @ 16oz bag of dried corn husks
- 4 cups Instant Corn Masa Mix
- 1 Tb baking soda
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups sweet corn, optional
- 1 cup shortening
- Queso Fresco, (this is for assembly of the tamales)
Start by softening the corn husks. Lay the dried corn husks into your kitchen sink and fill the basin with hot water. Don’t worry about separating them all, batches seem to come apart, but after they are softened you will be able to separate them without breaking them. Lay glass baking dishes over the top of the husk to keep them under water. This softening process takes 30 to 60 minutes. I usually leave mine in for 1 hour, while I gather utensils, ingredients and prepare the masa. When I am ready for the corn husks I only pull out 12 at a time and leave the rest in the sink, adding hot water if needed.
If you’re adding sweet corn to the tamale masa, then at this stage add the sweet corn and about 1 cup of the chicken broth into your food processor and pulse until the corn is finely minced.
In a large deep bowl combine the corn masa mix, baking powder and salt. Pour the chicken broth and the corn/broth mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. In a small bowl using a hand mixer beat the shortening until it is very fluffy. Add to the masa mixture and beat until the dough has a spongy texture.
Now onto laying out your assembly area. You’ll need a paper towel or kitchen towel lined baking sheet to lay your corn husk on after you have removed them from the sink, drained and patted dry. Once laid on the paper towels cover with a kitchen towel to keep them from drying out. Bring out your Shredded Chipotle Chicken and make sure it’s broken apart loosely. Place the Queso Fresco in a small bowl and make sure it’s all crumbly. I use a fork to do this.
I use our silicone rolling pad to do the tamale assembly on, but a clean kitchen counter works just as well. You’ll need a wide rubber spatula for each person putting the Masa on the husk and use your fingers for the chicken and cheese.
Pull out 12 of the softened corn husks from the sink. You’ll separate them as you pull them out. Look for the large husks first. When you come across the small husks or ones with rips in them you will use these for the ties on the tamale ends. Just use your kitchen shears to cut the husks lengthwise into 1/4 strips.
Now onto assembling your tamales….see Chipotle Chicken Tamales … Day 2 continued…