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Chicken-Stuffed Tamal

  • SERVINGS: Makes 4-6 main-course or 8 first-course
  • MAKE-AHEAD

If you like the tender texture and rich flavor of tamales but can't imagine taking the time to form, fill and wrap them, this savory tamal is for you.

  1. 3/4 cup (about 6 ounces) lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 cup Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium broth
  4. Salt
  5. 1 1/2 pounds (about 3 cups) coarse-ground masa for tamales or 3 cups masa harina mixed with 1 3/4 cups of hot water (see Note)
  6. 1 1/2 cups Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa
  7. 1 cup coarsely shredded cooked skinless chicken meat (about 6 ounces)
  8. Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  1. In a large bowl, beat the lard and baking powder with an electric mixer until light, about 1 minute. Add the masa in 3 batches, beating constantly. Slowly add the stock and continue beating until the batter holds its shape in a spoon and a 1/2 teaspoon dollop floats in a cup of cold water, about 1 minute. Season the batter with salt. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa with the shredded chicken.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spoon half of the batter into a greased 10-inch pie plate. Spread the chicken filling over the batter, season lightly with salt and cover with the remaining batter. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. Cover the tamal loosely with foil and bake for about 20 minutes longer, or until the top is golden and the center springs back when lightly pressed. Let stand for a few minutes, then cut into wedges. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with the remaining salsa.
Make Ahead The batter and chicken filling can be refrigerated separately for up to 1 day. Notes Masa, or fresh dough, is sold at Latin American markets and, if you're lucky enough to have access to one, tortilla factories. Ask for coarse-ground masa, made specifically for tamales. Or buy masa harina (powdered dried masa), available at Latin American stores and many supermarkets, and mix it with water.
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