Chile Verde Tamales de Pollo

 Tamales are a Mexican food made of masa (corn flour) and stuffed with any number of fillings.  Tamales are an old food, meaning that it was probably eaten by Aztecs and Mayans as early as 8000 BC.  Making them is a pretty involved process and it requires some time to get everything prepared and cooked–about 3-4 hours.  I had a lot of fun making these, and when I was forming the dough into the corn husk I could picture someone from a different time and background doing this very same activity (which was pretty cool).  The tamales turned out really well.  The dough had a nice fluffy texture and the filling had a spicy, savory flavor. The filling was a tex-mex style shredded chicken and sweet corn.  I seasoned the dough with cumin, paprika, and cinnamon.  The chile verde was tasty and pretty simple to make too.  I topped the tamales with a little monterey jack cheese and sour cream.

Chile Verde Tamales de Pollo
(Makes 3 tamales)
Printable Version


  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (or corn oil)
  • 1 cup masa (corn flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4-5 large corn husks, soaked in water for 10 minutes to soften
  • 1 cup chile verde (recipe below)


  1. Beat the shortening until it is fluffy.
  2. Add the corn flour, baking powder, spices, salt and water and mix with a spoon until it has formed a dough. Add more water if the mix is too dry.
  3. Take several large spoonfuls of the dough and flatten it out in the middle of a corn husk so that it forms a rectangle shape in the husk.
  4. Place a few small spoonfuls of the shredded chicken in the middle and wrap the dough around it.
  5. Wrap the dough in a corn husk by bringing the edges together.  Make sure there are no gaping holes in the dough to prevent the filling from falling out.
  6. Fold in the ends and tie with a small piece of a corn husk around the middle of the tamale.  If the husk is too small and doesn’t wrap around all the way, seal it with another husk.
  7. Place it in the steamer standing up with the ends folded inward.
  8. Repeat.
  9. Steam the tamales for an hour. The dough should be firm and it should not stick to the husk when done.

3 Thoughts on “Chile Verde Tamales de Pollo

  1. Pretty photos! Can’t wait to make this again it was great.

  2. Pingback: Add Sizzle to Your Day with Southwestern Tex-Mex Cuisine | Yummly

  3. victoria on September 18, 2012 at 8:53 am said:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was simple to make and sôoooo delicious.

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