From My Kitchen - Chicken Tamale Recipe

by CorreenK

Discover the steps to make this easy and authentically tasty chicken tamale recipe. Photos, a tamale wrapping video, and lots of chicken tamale recipe alternatives are included.

My Super Easy Chicken Tamale 2012 goal is checked off my list!

If I can make this chicken tamale recipe I'm guaranteeing that you can too! Please don't be intimidated by all those "oh it's so hard" to make tamale stories. I promise you it's not.

Once the corn masa dough is made, the corn husks are softened, and the chicken filling is's simply a matter of prep, folding, steaming and eating! Seriously easy...pure yumness!

Do a couple trial runs yourself - just so you get the hang - then teach your new cooking skill to your family and friends. I'm so excited to have checked off tamale-making from my 2012 cooking goals list. can too. ;)

Click to see my steamed Chicken Tamales
Click to see my steamed Chicken Tamales
Correen K Photography

Once steamed and cooled
freeze these chicken
tamales for a quick
snack or mid-week meal.

About Tamales

Just in case you didn't know :)
A tamale — or more correctly tamal — is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa, which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can themselves be filled with meats, cheese, fruits, vegetables, chilies or ...
Tamales Steamingtamales ready to steam

Corn Flour for Tamales

Masa, the Spanish word for "dough" is the traditional dough used to make corn tortillas, tamales and gorditas. 

Tamale Dough (Masa) Recipe

Prep time 5 min  -  Total time 15 min
Ingredients for 12 servings
2 cups corn masa flour  • 1 teaspoon baking powder  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt  • 2 cups chicken broth  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening

In a medium size bowl combine masa flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Working with your hands, mix in the broth to form a soft, moist dough. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl whip vegetable shortening until nice and fluffy. Add in the tamale dough and mix, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat until dough has a spongy, soft texture.

Use immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap and tuck away in the fridge, up to 24 to 72 hours, until you are ready to prepare your tamales.

♥ Makes enough dough for 12 to 16 tamales.

Recipe  0.0/5 Stars (0 Votes)

My Chicken Tamale Recipe

Pulling Together the Chicken Tamale Recipe
Pulling Together the Chicken Tamale Recipe
Correen K Photography
From prep to gobbling 'em down

The five steps for putting together this chicken tamale recipe...

  1. Make my chicken chili recipe, refrigerate two or so cups for the tamales. Pull out the container when you are ready to prepare these chicken tamales...the chili thickens overnight, making it a perfect filling for tamales.
  2. Place dried corn husks (at least 16) in a large flat container, pour in hot tap water to cover, steep, to soften for 30 to 45 minutes. Any leftover corn husks can be laid out to dry and placed back in the package or a ziplock bag.
  3. Mix up the tamale dough (see my recipe above). Add about a 1/4th cup portion onto the large end of a softened corn husk. Spread with a spatula, back of a spoon, or your fingertips, leaving edges on both sides. Spoon on a heaping tablespoon of chicken chili.
  4. Bring the two sides together (see the arrows in the photo?), sealing the tamale dough around the ingredients, and then roll it up.
  5. Tuck under the 'long tail' of the corn husk and place in the steamer. When all the tamales are wrapped, steam in a covered pot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let the steamed tamales rest for 8 to 10 minutes before unwrapping. Getting too anxious at this point might end up in a "masa mess"...been there done that, so I'm giving you fair warning!

Rolling Tamales

It's truly this effortless

Unusually Tasty Ideas For Chicken Tamale Filling

Release your stodgy taste buds

Along with these ideas add cooked, steamed, barbecued, parboiled, roasted, or seasoned, then shredded chicken...

- Spicy-kissed and thickened veggie pot pie filling.

- Steamed spinach and crumbles of feta.

- Canned or homemade baked beans.

- Grilled, jerk seasoned pineapple chunks.

- Sauteed garlicky green peppers and onions.

- Wild rice and a spoonful of green or red chile sauce.

And your thoughts? Please leave 'em in the guestbook below.

Have You Ever Made Tamales?

  Display results
Thanks for go make tamales! :)

Easily reheat wrapped tamales for 45 to 60 seconds in the microwave

In Closing...

CorreenKIt fills me with joy to share the inspired recipe ideas I'm whipping up in my kitchen. Besides the articles here, I'm also growing my online presence and passion for cooking over at

If you are interested in writing here on Wizzley, click on my referral link to join in on the fun and profits! ~Correen K

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Updated: 08/05/2014, CorreenK
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

My Chicken Tamale Recipe Guestbook - Your Comments Are Appreciated Here :)

cmoneyspinner on 09/29/2015

Glad you shared your how to recipes. Good to know. I love tamales! Shared this via one of my foodie pages.

Tolovaj on 12/25/2014

I have never cooked or steamed anything in any kind of leaves, aluminum foil is closest to this anyway, but it's not hard to imagine how important can be a leave, even if it is not eaten, to protect the food from direct heat and provide additional flavor as well. While in our country some people use cabbage for this purpose, this particular vegetable is not on my list of best friends in the kitchen. Corn will very likely suit me better, so maybe I'll give it a chance. Photos definitely look promising!

WriterArtist on 12/14/2014

This reminds me of recipes that we make in turmeric leaves, the fragrance of those fresh leaves make the dishes extremely delicious. The Chicken tamale recipe sounds the same.

Guest on 10/29/2014

CorreenK, You're welcome. I was especially happy to stumble upon this recipe because I'm reviewing a tamale product offered by Amy's Kitchen. I like that company's products because they taste "real," like something made with care and love in one's own kitchen. That's the way your recipe comes across.

CorreenK on 10/29/2014

@EmmaSRose It's always a good thing when a recipe article makes someone hungry. Thanks for letting me know what turned on your appetite.

Guest on 10/28/2014

CorreenK, Oh my goodness, I'm hungry for tamales now! I especially appreciate your photo entitled "Pulling Together the Chicken Tamale Recipe," with the labelling on the photo showing how everything progresses. I also like your suggestions for variations -- I can attest to the tastiness of adding spinach and feta.

Guest on 08/11/2012

Oh, my! I'm not waiting on Christmas to try this chicken tamale recipe! I want them NOW!!!

kelleyward on 04/30/2012

Yum! I just saw some tamales in the grocery store and thought I should try making them with my boys! I'm bookmarking this! Thanks! Take care, Kelley

katiem2 on 02/06/2012

My girls were asking me if I knew how to make tamales a few weeks ago as they had them for the first time. I did not know how, now I do. Homemade is the only way, thanks :) Katie

sheilamarie on 02/03/2012

Thanks for the great recipe and easy to follow directions. I will try this recipe soon.

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