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Chicken Tamales Verdes Recipe

SERVES 10 | FINISH IN 1 hour 15 minutes - 2 hours

Chicken Tamales Verdes are a Mexican classic that normally takes days to prepare, but can be sped through thanks to the ready-made Sky Valley Green Enchilada Sauce. Bring a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine into your home with this unique main dish.

  • 1 (3-lb.) Whole Chicken, cut up, OR 4 c. Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
  • 1 bottle Sky Valley® Green Enchilada Sauce, plus more, for topping
  • 3 c. Instant Corn Masa Flour, also called Masa Harina
  • ¾ cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 ¾ c. Chicken Broth
  • 26 Dried Corn Husks


  • Lime Slices, for serving
  • ½ Purple Onion, diced, for serving
  • Fresh Cilantro, for serving
  • Avocado Slices, for serving
  • Jalapeno Slices, for serving
Products you'll need
  1. If using an uncooked whole chicken, transfer to pot and cover with 3 qt. water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender, 45-60 minutes. Remove chicken from broth, and set aside to cool. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and discard the bones. Transfer shredded chicken meat to a bowl. Reserve the chicken stock.
  2. To bowl with shredded chicken meat, add Sky Valley® Green Enchilada Sauce. Mix well, until chicken looks like a slightly overdressed, flavorful chicken salad (it’s fine if it looks wet). Transfer to refrigerator to chill.
  3. In a large bowl, combine corn masa flour, 1 ¾ cup chicken stock, shortening and salt. Mix with a spatula, wooden spoon or your hands, until the dough starts to come together. Knead for 5 minutes, until tamales corn mixture is smooth and has a sheen to it. The dough should not stick to your hands; if it’s too sticky, add more shortening. Let masa dough rest for at least 30 minutes – it will thicken as it sits.
  4. While the dough is resting and chicken is cooling, soak dried corn husks in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat to dry.
  5. Arrange your filling components and corn husks on a large, flat working surface. Unfold and stretch any curled or folded corn husks.
  6. As you get ready to fill the tamales, lay out a single corn husk with the wide end facing you. Starting about ¼ of the way from the bottom, spoon 2 tablespoons of masa in the middle of the tamale. Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, spread the masa in a thin layer all across the width of the tamale, stopping about ¼ of the way from the top.
  7. Proceed by ladling 2 tablespoons of chicken filling in the middle of the tamale, leaving the sides uncovered. Fold the sides over the filling, one over the other. Then finish sealing the tamale by folding the narrow end away from you and over the seam. Transfer to a large plate or baking sheet. Proceed until you run out of tamale filling or corn husks.
  8. Cover the bottom of a large pot that is tall enough to contain tamales standing upright with broken or discarded corn husks. Form a ball out of aluminum foil, and rest it in the middle of the pot. Arrange tamales in an upright position and in concentric circles all around it, fitting snugly against each other.
  9. Add 3 cups of chicken broth, water or a mix thereof to the pot, letting it rise about 1-inch up the height of the tamales. Top with a lid, and bring liquid to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low, and let tamales cook for 45 minutes.
  10. Remove tamales from the pot, and let them cool for about 5 minutes.
  11. To serve tamales, remove husks (or allow your guests to do so themselves). Serve chicken tamales verdes with lime wedges, sour cream, diced onion, fresh cilantro, avocado, and jalapeno slices, if desired, allowing your guests to mix and match their toppings.

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