Chicken mole tamal! Featuring Heirloom Yellow Corn Masa Harina From Masienda. The masa harina comes in four varieties, white, yellow, blue and red! This was the first time I have prepared a tamal recipe using Masienda. I have prepared tortillas and tlaycoyos using their white and blue varieties and they are delicious! I stumbled upon the brand while watching a Rick Bayless food video a few years ago. He spoke very highly of them and I knew I had to try it out! Since then, I am now the proud owner of their heavy duty molcajete, beautiful green and hot pink tortilla press. Both essential tools in my kitchen! Get Yours Today! Have you visited their online store? This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.
The first batch, I tested with the mole, I served with more mole sauce on top garnished with toasted sesame seeds. Delicious! They were devoured so fast, I didn’t get a chance to eat more than 2! Lol! Does a tamal filled with chicken mole sound different to you? It’s essentially corn masa with chicken in mole. That is a very popular combination, but in a tamal. Order your Heirloom Corn Masa Harina Here!
Part 1! Masa For Tamales!
As I mentioned, I have prepared many corn tortillas with Masienda masa harina in the past. I was fast to preorder their cookbook, Masa, a few years ago. It’s filled with so many delicious recipes. Any recipe prepared with masa, I am a big fan of. Today I am sharing with you masa for tamal recipe using the yellow corn masa harina. You know I have to put my spin on it, right? If you think the tortillas are tasty, wait until you try the tamales. They were the most soft and tender tamales I have ever prepared. Literally, they melt in your mouth! My friends and family were so impressed, I cannot wait to try the other masa varieties for more tamales.
What differences did I notice about this masa?
Right away, the first thing I notice as I pour the masa harina into a bowl is that it looks to be a finer grind. As I began to mix in the broth, the masa becomes aromatic and the aroma is delicious. After mixing in the stand mixer, it looked very fluffy in texture. The masa was easy to spread onto the corn husks and I could just tell it was going to be soft and light. Personally, I don’t feel that some people really pay a lot of attention to flavoring the masa. Most times, it’s lacking in salt. In my family, we enjoyed tamales with salsa, but it should be delicious on it’s own. That is the true test.
Yellow Corn Masa For Tamales
- Stand Mixer
- Medium to large steamer pot
- deli sheets, optional
- 1 1/2 cups chilled natural rendered pork lard
- 4 c Masienda Yellow Corn Masa Harina
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 2 tsps salt, plus more salt, to taste as you mix
- 4 cups chilled chicken broth
- 2-3 tbsps red chile sauce or paste, see link in the notes
To Finish Tamales
- 1 lb corn husks
- 3 lbs previously cooked and chilled meat filling
- up to 1/4 c chile sauce or leftover mole sauce
- First thing, I want to apologize for not weighing the masa once I mixed it! I will definitely do that when I prepare the next batch. Roughly it was about 9 cups of fluffy masa. Depending on how much masa you use per tamal, the recipe yields between 36-43 tamales. I prepared them a little smaller, like mom, so in the end I ended up with 43 tamales.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, whip the chilled lard for 5 minutes. Gradually mix in the 4 cups of masa harina. Mix in the 2 tsps. baking powder and 2 tsps. of salt.
- Gradually mix in the 4 cups of chilled chicken broth, always starting at low speed. Once the broth is incorporated, taste the masa for salt. Mix on high for a good 8-10 minutes or until the masa appears light and fluffy. Test 1/2 tsp portion in a cup of cold water. If it floats, it's ready. If you are adding chile sauce, you can mix in up to 1/4 c on low speed.
- Cover the masa, making sure you are not compressing it, in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Assembling & Steaming
- I soak the corn husks the day before when I prepare the masa. Next day, I drain out all of the water, tear the husks down to size, then cover them with more hot water until I am ready to use them.
- Grab a big handful of corn husks and shake off excess water. Using the back of a spoon, spread an even, thin 3 tbsps.(more or less) of masa across the bottom of the corn husk. Down the center, spoon on 3 tbsps. of meat filling. It should look full, but you should be able to fold in the sides with no problem.
- If you are using the deli sheets to wrap tamales, wrap them tight like an egg roll and lay open side of tamal away from you. Fill steamer pot with water to the indicated line. insert the steamer part. Lay a few softened husks on top of steamer insert. Arrange tamales upright, open side up. If there are gabs, use some of the extra husks around the inside edges of steamer pot to keep tamales upright.
- Heat steamer pot to high heat to start. Add a few more corn husks on top of tamales to cover. Place lid onto steamer pot. If needed, place a heavy object on top to make sure lid is tight. Once it comes up to a rapid boil and begins to steam, lower heat to right below medium heat. Set your timer for 1 hour. Keep a saucepan filled with water on warm in case you need to add more water to the steamer pot.
- After 1 hour of steaming, carefully pull out one tamal onto a plate. Let it cool for 5-6 minutes. Peel husk away slowly. If it peels away easily, then tamales are done. If not, then continue steaming for another 25-30 minutes.
Part 2! Chicken Mole Tamal!
It was about time that I added a Chicken Mole tamal to my blog! You can follow any of my mole recipes on site to prepare these delicious tamales. The mole I prepared for these was a bit more spicy on purpose. You could add 12-15 chile de arbol to Mole Poblano or Oaxaca Style Mole if you like it with a bite! Or you can leave them as is. Soon, I will add the other variation of the mole sauce here once I type it all up.
Chicken Mole Tamal Filling
- Large Steamer Pot
- 2 tbsps avocado oil
- 1 small white onion, sliced into thin strips
- 3 lbs previously cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups thick mole sauce or 3 cups looser sauce
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- Salt, to taste
- In a large skillet, add the oil and preheat to medium heat for a few minutes. After a few minutes, add the onions. Season lightly with salt. Saute for 8-10 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize a little.
- Mix in the chicken, mole sauce, and the broth. Stir well to combine. When it comes up to a simmer, taste for salt. Lower heat slightly and continue cooking until it reduces and thickens. Remove from heat and let the chicken cool completely before using it for tamal filling.
- If not using right away, store tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It will absorb more flavor after a day or two.