Cheesy Chicken Tamales
Get hands-on with this Mexican meal! To make this dish vegetarian-friendly, use vegetable stock, skip the meat and stuff with cooked chopped broccoli and shredded cheddar cheese instead.
You can also swap out the shredded chicken for browned ground beef mixed with taco seasoning, or fill the tamales with browned sweet Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and melty mozzarella.
- 20 dried cornhusks
- 1 pound baby spinach
- 1/2 onion
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups instant masa
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3/4 pound lightly salted fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 1/4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- Salsa verde and sour cream, for serving
- Fill a large bowl with very hot tap water. Add the cornhusks; submerge until softened (weigh down with a dinner plate), about 20 minutes. Transfer to a towel to drain.
- Cook half the spinach with 1/4 cup water in a large skillet over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the spinach to wilt. Drain in a colander; let cool. Squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Chop the spinach with a bench scrape. Chop the onion with a knife; add to the skillet with 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until golden, 6 minutes. Add the spinach; season.
- Mix the masa, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the stock. Beat in 1 1/2 cups EVOO with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.
- Plop about 1/4 cup masa at the wide end of a cornhusk. Spread into a 3-inch x 5-inch rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border at the sides and bottom.
- Cut the mozzarella into 1-inch x 3-inch sticks. Top the masa rectangle with a few shreds of chicken, a stick of cheese and 1 tablespoon spinach.
- Fold in the sides of the husk, enclosing the filling, then fold up the end, making a 4-inch package. Repeat with the remaining husks, masa and fillings.
- Please a steamer basket over a pot with 2 inches of briskly simmering water. Nestle in the tamales, open ends up. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
- Remove the tamales and let cool for a minute. Carefully open them up. Serve warm, with the salsa and sour cream.
Recipe by Tracey Seaman, Test Kitchen Director, Every Day with Rachael Ray. Reprinted with permission from Every Day with Rachael Ray.