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Chicken Tamales

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Chicken Tamales
Chicken Tamales is a Colombian food recipe for corn husks wrapped around cornmeal and chicken.
  • 30 corn husks or 20 pieces of aluminum foil cut into 10-inch squares
  • 4 cups (1 pound) flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth (remove fat)
  • ½ cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 20 strips, ½-inch by 2 inches
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • Raisins
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh green chilies, thinly sliced
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  1. To make the dough, stir the dough ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large sauce pan. Cook the dough over medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm but still moist. Cool to room temperature and wrap in plastic until needed.
  2. To make the filling, mix in a medium bowl, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. Stir in the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  3. If you are using packaged corn husks, separate them, put in large bowl, cover with water and set aside for several hours or overnight.
  4. Divide the dough into 20 pieces. Form each piece into a cylinder about 3 inches long and place it in the center of a husk or foil. Press into the dough a piece of chicken, 2 raisins, and a slice of potato. On top of the dough place a slice of tomato, some onion slices, and a slice each of chile and pepper. Top with a sprig of mint.
  5. Fold the ends of each foil or husk wrapper over the filling and garnishes, and then fold the sides of the wrapper tightly. To tie them into waterproof packages, use thin strips torn from several husks or use 5- inch pieces of string. If you are using foil instead of husks, tying is not necessary.
  6. Fill the bottom half of a large steamer with water. Stand all the tamales upright in the top of the steamer and cover them with corn husks. Cover the pot tightly, bring the water to a boil, adjust heat to maintain a simmer, and let the tamales cook for about 1½ hours. To check for doneness, open a tamale; the dough should come away solidly from the husk or foil. As the tamales cook, check the water level occasionally and replenish if necessary.
  7. Unwrap and serve immediately.


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