Chicken Hot Tamales

Looking at Cooking and Garden Jobs with Mildred Swift

The Rev. James R. Cain


  • 1 hen (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chill powder (or more) chicken broth

Steam hen, cool, remove from bone, and put through medium blade of your food chopper. Grind garlic with the chicken. Add the chili power and enough chicken broth to hold the chicken together. Be sure not to get this too soft. Salt mixture to taste.

Cornmeal for Tamales

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or more)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix and pour boiling chicken broth over this, just enough to hold it together, not too much. Taste to see if this is salty enough.

Shucks for Tamales

Use the second row of shucks on the corn. The outside shucks are too stiff and will not roll. Cut the shucks 2 inches longer than you want your tamales. Leave them wide as they are, the wider the better. Wash these in cold water. Pour boiling water over shacks. Let stand until they are soft feeling. Drain.


Put a thin layer of cornmeal on the leaving 1 inch at either end with no meal. Spread about 2 inches of the shuck with cornmeal. Put some of the chicken mixture about 1/2 inch wide down the center of the meal. Roll. Fold back one end. Leave other end open.

Place on a rack in a pan for steaming, laying the tamale on the on the folded side. Pack them them in layers in the pan. Pour boiling water over tamales just to cover. Put top on pan and steam for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Do not boil. Test a tamale at the end of 1 1/2 hours. If they are not done, steam a while loner.

These can be made and wrapped and frozen, re-heating at serving time. This recipe make about 6 dozen medium-sized tamales.


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