Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Tamales
It's beginning to smell a lot like taco night around these parts. The green, white, and red is out in full color. Sombreros and piñatas can be found in the store aisles.
Mexican Independence Day is September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated because on May 5th, 1862, Mexican forces thrashed the French and won in Puebla. Yet it seems that we celebrate more on Cinco de Mayo than we do on September 16th in this country.
No matter. Tamales for everyone! Another round of margaritas! Celebrate Mexican heritage and culture and pour yourself a cerveza.
Chipotle Chicken Tamales
Chipotle Chicken Filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup diced onion
2 cups chicken broth
1 can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (2 tablespoons sauce reserved)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken
3 cups masa flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 ¼ cups water
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons reserved adobo sauce from filling
½ cup lard, melted
1 package corn husks soaked in water
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in onion and cook for 7-10 minutes until translucent. Add the chicken broth, chipotles and adobo sauce, vinegar. Cook until liquid is reduced to a thick sauce, about 40 minutes. Add in shredded chicken and continue to cook for 4 minutes until chicken is heated through.
Mix together flour, salt and baking powder in a large boil. Add the water, chicken broth, adobo sauce and melted lard. Mix together to form a soft paste-like dough. Taste the dough and add salt if necessary.
Take one corn husk at a time and spread with 1/4 cup of masa dough into a 4"x4" square at the wide end of the corn husk and off center so that you leave a good inch of uncovered husk. Add two tablespoons of filling or so in the center of the masa dough and spread into a line. Fold the edge of the corn husk lengthwise so that both ends of the masa meet. Fold the extra tail of the corn husk up and finish rolling the overlapped corn husk. Secure with corn husk ties.
Add water to the bottom of a large stockpot, with a steamer basket at the bottom so the tamales are not sitting in the water. Line with a tea towel and then fill the pot with the tamales standing up, wrapped side down and open side up. When the pot is full of tamales, cover them and place over medium heat and steam for one hour. Remove from heat, allow them to cool slightly and serve.
Tamales can be frozen or refrigerated in airtight containers.