Chicken Tamales with all the Extras Recipe

Chicken Tamales with all the Extras

Chicken Tamales with all the Extras Recipe
Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1.5 hour | Servings: 20


Chicken Tamales with all the Extras
Chicken Tamales with all the Extras

Chicken tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that consists of seasoned chicken and other delicious fillings wrapped in masa dough and steamed in corn husks or foil. These tamales are a labor of love to make, but the end result is well worth the effort. In this recipe, we will walk you through the steps to make delicious chicken tamales with all the extras.


Tamales have been a staple in Mexican cuisine for centuries, with evidence of their existence dating back to the Aztec and Maya civilizations. Originally, tamales were made as a portable and convenient food for travelers and warriors. Today, tamales are enjoyed as a special treat during holidays and celebrations.





How to prepare


  1. In a large saucepan, stir the dough ingredients with a wooden spoon.
  2. Cook the dough over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm but still moist.
  3. Cool the dough to room temperature and wrap it in plastic until needed.
  4. The dough can be made one day in advance and refrigerated.


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the lemon juice, salt, and garlic.
  2. Stir in the chicken.
  3. Cover and refrigerate the filling for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Assembly and cooking

  1. If using packaged corn husks, separate them, place in a large bowl, cover with water, and set aside for several hours or overnight.
  2. Divide the dough into 20 pieces.
  3. Form each piece into a cylinder about 3 inches long and place it in the center of a husk or foil.
  4. Press into the dough a piece of chicken, 2 raisins, and a slice of potato.
  5. On top of the dough, place a slice of tomato, some onion slices, and a slice each of chile and pepper.
  6. Top with a sprig of mint.
  7. Fold the ends of each foil or husk wrapper over the filling and garnishes, and then fold the sides of the wrapper tightly.
  8. To tie them into waterproof packages, use thin strips torn from several husks or use 5-inch pieces of string.
  9. If using foil instead of husks, tying is not necessary.
  10. Fill the bottom half of a large steamer with water.
  11. Stand all the tamales upright in the top of the steamer and cover them with corn husks.
  12. Cover the pot tightly, bring the water to a boil, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, and let the tamales cook for about 1.5 hours.
  13. To check for doneness, open a tamale; the dough should come away solidly from the husk or foil.
  14. As the tamales cook, check the water level occasionally and replenish if necessary.
  15. Unwrap and serve the tamales immediately.


  • Substitute pork or beef for the chicken in the filling.
  • Add cheese or olives to the filling for extra flavor.
  • Use different types of chilies for a spicier kick.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to soak the corn husks in water before using them to wrap the tamales. This will make them pliable and prevent them from tearing.

- When assembling the tamales, be sure to leave enough space at the top and bottom of the husk or foil to allow for folding.

- To check for doneness, open a tamale and make sure the dough is cooked through and no longer sticking to the wrapper.

- Tamales can be frozen for later enjoyment. Simply wrap them in foil and store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Serving Suggestions

Serve chicken tamales with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Steaming is the traditional method for cooking tamales, but they can also be baked in the oven.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian version.

- Substitute lard for the vegetable oil in the dough for a more traditional flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

Prepare the dough and filling in advance and assemble the tamales just before steaming.

Presentation Ideas

Serve chicken tamales on a platter garnished with fresh herbs and lime wedges.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair chicken tamales with Mexican rice, refried beans, and a cold beer or margarita.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover tamales in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or steamer before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of chicken tamales contains approximately 250 calories.


Each serving of chicken tamales contains approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of chicken tamales contains approximately 5 grams of fat.


Each serving of chicken tamales contains approximately 10 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Chicken tamales are a good source of iron, vitamin C, and potassium.


This recipe contains wheat and may contain traces of nuts.


Chicken tamales are a nutritious and delicious dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals.


Chicken tamales with all the extras are a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for special occasions or family gatherings. With a little time and effort, you can create a flavorful and authentic Mexican meal that will impress your guests. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

It feels like just yesterday when I stumbled upon this recipe for Chicken Tamales with all the Extras. It was a hot summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Rosa in her quaint little village in Mexico. As soon as I walked into her kitchen, I was hit with the most delicious aroma of spices and flavors that immediately made my mouth water.

Rosa greeted me with a warm hug and a big smile, and she wasted no time in getting me involved in the cooking process. She handed me a bowl of masa dough and showed me how to spread it onto the corn husks, filling them with a savory mixture of shredded chicken, vegetables, and herbs. As we worked side by side, Rosa shared the story of how she learned to make these tamales from her own grandmother, who had passed down the recipe through generations.

I was captivated by Rosa's passion for cooking and her deep connection to her family's culinary traditions. She explained how each ingredient was carefully chosen for its flavor and texture, and how the tamales were steamed to perfection before being served with a variety of delicious toppings and sides. I watched in awe as she expertly folded the corn husks around the filling, creating neat little packages that would soon be transformed into mouthwatering tamales.

As the tamales cooked, Rosa prepared a selection of extras to accompany them – fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and a fiery red chili sauce that made my eyes water just looking at it. She showed me how to assemble a plate with a tamale, a dollop of each topping, and a side of rice and beans. The combination of flavors and textures was like nothing I had ever tasted before, and I knew I had to learn how to make these tamales for myself.

Over the next few days, Rosa taught me everything I needed to know about making Chicken Tamales with all the Extras. We spent hours in the kitchen, chopping vegetables, shredding chicken, and mixing spices to create the perfect filling for the tamales. Rosa shared her tips and tricks for getting the masa dough just right, showing me how to spread it thinly and evenly on the corn husks before adding the filling and folding them into neat little packages.

I learned how to steam the tamales to perfection, patiently waiting as the aroma of spices and flavors filled the kitchen. When they were finally ready, Rosa showed me how to serve them with all the extras – a generous spoonful of salsa, a dollop of guacamole, a drizzle of sour cream, and a fiery red chili sauce on the side. I couldn't wait to dig in and taste the fruits of our labor.

As I took my first bite of the Chicken Tamales with all the Extras, I was transported back to that hot summer day in Rosa's kitchen. The flavors were rich and savory, the textures were perfectly balanced, and the combination of toppings added a burst of freshness and heat that made my taste buds sing. I savored every bite, knowing that I had truly mastered the art of making tamales.

Since that day, I have made Chicken Tamales with all the Extras many times for my family and friends. Each time I cook them, I am reminded of Rosa and the special bond we share through food and tradition. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn such a delicious and meaningful recipe, and I will always cherish the memories of that summer day in Rosa's kitchen.


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