Chicken and Pork tamales

A little work, but worth every minute!

1 large stock pot with steamer insert,  measuring cups and spoons, long tongs,  spider or spoon for
draining,  a long spatula (cake icing spatula)

INGREDIENTS: (Makes about 4 dozen tamales)
4.4 Lb bag MaSeCa instant masa mix
5 chicken thighs,  bone in,  skin on
3 lb. pork roast butt or loin
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Large bottle Garlic powder,  not garlic salt
Ground cumin
Whole cumin seeds
Gephardt's or McCormicks chili powder
Corn Husks (1 pound package has 200 husks,  so buy accordingly) 1/4
pound is minimal for this recipe. 

Tamale Meat Ingredients:
1   3 lb. pork roast
5 chicken thighs,  bone in and skin on
Chili Powder (I use Gephardt's or McCormick's)
Corn Oil

The tamale meat is made from a combination of Pork Roast & Chicken.

How to prepare the Pork and Chicken:
Cook and Shred Pork Roast:
Start with 1 pork roast. Cut the roast into large 3x3 pieces. Put the pork into a Pan, and cover with
water. Boil pork for about 2 1/2 hours until it becomes tender. Take pork out of the broth and let cool
(Note: Save the Broth)

After the pork is cool enough to handle, shred with your fingers. Remove any fat  and gristle as you shred.
Cook and Shred Chicken:
Cover the chicken thisghs with water in a large pot, and boil for 2 hours, or until tender. Take chicken out of
the broth and cool. (Note: Save chicken broth) Remove and discard any skin. Take the chicken meat off 
the bones and  shred  into very small pieces.  Discard any fat, skin and bones.

Combine the pork and chicken in a large pan, and mix together. Make sure that they are mixed well. 
Now you can season the tamale meat.

Spices and Seasonings:
Mix the corn oil and the following seasonings in a small pan and (warm only). Do not cook oil and
seasonings mix, just warm on the stove.

1/2 cup corn oil 
6 Tablespoons Gephartds or McCormick's chili powder
3 Tablespoons garlic powder (not garlic salt)
3 Tablespoon ground cumin seeds 
1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2 Tablespoon Kosher (not iodized) salt
When the oil and seasonings mix is warm, then pour over the meat and mix with your hands until it is
distributed through the meat.  (This will take 8 - 10 minutes  to fully mix the seasonings and meat).

Put the meat in the refrigerator,covered until you are ready to make the tamales. Refrigeratethe chicken
broth and pork broth as you will need them when you make the Masa Mix.

Assemble the Tamales

1. Make the Masa Dough Mix:
Start with 2.2 lbs. of the Masa flour. It comes in a 4.4 lb bag, use half of it. 

Skim the fat off the broth that you saved from the Pork and Chicken.  Discard the fat. Gently warm (Not hot, just warm) the broth from the pork and chicken. Now put the 2.2 lbs. of Masa in a large bowl.  Add the following spices to the Masa: 3 Tablespoons paprika 3 Tablespoons salt 1 Tablespoon toasted cumin seeds (Toast dry, on the stove in a pan, 2 mins.) 3 Tablespoons Gebhardt's or McCormick's Chili Powder 3 Tablespoons garlic powder Mix the above spices into the Masa until it is completely incorporated. Add 2 cups of Corn Oil to the Masa mixture. After adding the oil,  begin to slowly work in 8 cups of the warm chicken/pork broth, a cup at a time. Work the mixture with your hands to make dough.  If the masa is too dry, add enough warm water to get it right for spreading. It should be the consistency of thick peanut butter. If it is too thin add more Masa, if it is too thick, add more broth or warm water. 2. Prepare the Corn Husks: Soak the husks in a sink full of warm water (about 2 hours). You will need to carefully separate them when they get soft.  Be careful not to tear or damage the corn husks. 3. Build the Tamales After the corn husks are soft, take some of them out of the water, shake the water off, lay them on the counter on a towel. Pick up a husk,  lay it across the palm of your hand with the small end toward your fingers. scoop up about 1/2 c of the Masa dough with the spatula,  and then smear it on the husk. Cover about left 2/3 of the husk with Masa, leave 1/3 on the right uncovered. Similarly, cover the bottom 2/3 of the husk, and leave the top 1/3 uncovered.  You need to leave the top and side uncovered so you can fold it up later. Now, go to the next husk and do the same, laying them out on the counter as you put the masa on them. I like to do 5 or ten at a time like this. When you have covered 5 to 10 of the husks with Masa, it is time to add the meat. Take about 1 tablespoon of meat, and lay it on the masa about 1 in. from the left edge. Starting on the left side (the side where the Masa dough goes all the way to the edge), roll the tamale all the way to the right edge. Now, fold the top of the husk over like an envelope and lay tamale on the counter with the fold on the under side. Roll the next one the same until all your husks with masa on them are rolled. Now, get more husks and put masa on them the same way. Then roll the meat in them. Keep doing this until all the tamales are built. You will have about 4 dozen or more. 4. Cook the Tamales To cook the tamales, You need a very large pot that has something in the bottom to keep the tamales out of the water while they steam (the steamer we use is pictured on the tamale ingredients page) . Add about 3 pints of water to the pot, then start stacking the tamales upright until full. If your pot has a strainer insert, you can lay the insert on its side and place the tamales. In that way they won't have a tendency to fall over. The envelope end of the tamale will be on the bottom, the open end of the tamale should be on top.  Continue to fill the pot.  The tamales need to pack tight enough that they do not fall over and begin to unfold. Cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low and cook for at least 2 hours. Check water several times and add more if it is getting low, you DON’T want to boil it dry. When done, take one tamale out and leave it on the counter for about 5 minutes to cool and test. Unwrap it and it should be firm, with no raw masa. When done, remove all the tamales and let them cool on the counter, then put in bags for the freezer, 6-8 to a bag. If you have a Vacuum sealer, all the better.  You can save the tamales in the freezer for months if they are vacuum sealed.  If you use zip lock freezer bags, they will stay for up to 6 months if you get most of the air out.

Please report any bad links..Thanks, Buzz


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