Indulge In {Tamales}

Hi dolls! Today I have a delicious little indulgence for you...one of Mexican proportions. With Cinco de Mayo just a few short days away, menu planning for the fiesta should be at the top of your list. Chips and salsa, queso, and margaritas are a must, but these tamales are sure to surprise. It's something that many won't make for themselves so they make a huge impact. Plus, they are incredibly delicious! I've been hesitant for years to attempt my own, but this recipe from The Novice Chef makes me want to try. While it is a bit intricate, all the effort is worth it. Here's the recipe...

Green Chicken Chili Tamales

Yield: 30 Tamales

:: Ingredients ::
You will need:
Kitchen Twine
6 oz package corn husks
2.5 lbs chicken breasts, trimmed
4 1/2 cups warm water
2 Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock (the liquid bouillon kind)
1 cup Salsa Verde (I used Herdez brand)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed
5 large jalapenos, seeded, sliced in half lengthwise
6 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/3 cups vegetable shortening
1 1/2
teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups Masa
2 cups (maybe a little more) low-salt chicken broth
2 1/2 cups fresh corn, about 4 ears
:: Directions ::
For the Chicken:
In the bowl of your slow cooker, mix warm water, Knorr homestyle stock, salsa verde, and garlic salt. Once fully mixed, add chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Pour juice/chicken stock into a large bowl, set aside. Shred chicken and set aside.
For filling:
Place husks in large pot or large bowl; add hot water to cover. Place heavy plate on husks to keep submerged. Let stand until husks soften, about 30 minutes. You can let this happen while you are preparing the dough and filling.
Heat broiler. Line heavy baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos on prepared sheet. Broil for 6 minutes, remove from oven. Turn each tomatillo over. Add jalapeno to baking sheet and return to broiler. Broil 6 more minutes and remove from oven for good.
Transfer tomatillos, jalapenos, and any juices on baking sheet to food processor (or blender). Add garlic to processor and blend until smooth puree forms. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo puree and boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 2 cups leftover broth (the leftover juice from the slow cooker). Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce coats spoon thickly, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Season with salt. Mix in chicken and cilantro. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
For dough:
Using stand mixer, beat vegetable shortening with salt and baking powder, until fluffy. Beat in masa in 4 additions. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 2 cups broth, forming tender dough. If dough seems firm, beat in enough broth, 2 tablespoons at a time, to soften. Then gently stir in the corn kernels.
Open 1 large husk on work surface. Spread 1/4 cup dough in 4-inch square in center, leaving 2- to 3-inch plain border at narrow end of husk. Spoon heaping tablespoon filling in strip down center of each dough square. Fold long sides of husk and dough over filling to cover. Fold up both ends of the husk. Tie tamale with twine. Stand tamales in steamer basket. Repeat with more husks, dough, and filling until all filling has been used. If necessary to keep tamales upright in steamer, insert pieces of crumpled foil between them.
Fill pot with about 2 inches of water, place in the 2 inch ceramic oven safe dish, and bring water to a boil. Carefully place the steamer basket on top of the ceramic dish. Steam tamales until dough is firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about an hour (mine took an hour and a half). Let stand 10 minutes. Serve immediately, or freeze.

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