As soon as I saw this I just had to try it. Needed a change from my normal Pork Tamales and i really am glad that I did. These were outstanding-I used chicken thighs because we prefer them and couldn't find the mexican cheese so I substituted Monterey Jack and cut into little tiny cubes. I did have tons of the mesa leftover but no biggie just made tortillas out of it. These were a true hit that everyone enjoyed-will be making again so I can keep a supply in the freezer.
I finally got around to making these, and boy, am I glad that I did! DH was thrilled to see me making them, and even happier to eat them. I couldn't find any lard for the life of me (not for lack of trying, either), so I used Crisco in the masa. I was concerned that I would run out of filling too soon, so I made a double batch of it. I got 44 tamales using a large cookie scoop for the masa and a medium cookie scoop for the filling (leveled for the masa and heaping for the filling), and I was only left with maybe enough filling for 2 more tamales but no masa -- used it to make a couple quesadillas for DH. We typically like our tamales saucy, so I made a big pot of tomatillo salsa to go with these. I served them topped with the salsa, crema and some extra queso fresco. I steamed these in my big tamalera pot for two hours, but they still seemed too mushy, so I turned down the heat to low and allowed them to cook for another hour or so, then turned off the heat and left them covered on the burner overnight (I made them really late in the day, and wasn't expecting to eat them until the next day anyhow). For some reason, all the tamales I make need to be cooked like this, so I'm sure it's just a quirk of my pot and not an issue with the tamales themselves. This way, we wake up to perfectly cooked tamales and a delicious-smelling house, so the extra time it takes is worth it. Thanks for posting!
I have never been a big tamale fan, but my 15-year-old daughter decided she wanted to make tamales for her cooking night. I was a bit apprehensive as I had only made tamales once before and I remembered it being a big hassle. These were time consuming, but not difficult and the results were very tasty. The filling is very flavorful and kept the tamales from being bland as others I have had. Preparation took us about 2 hours including cooking and shredding the chicken, making the masa, and assembling the tamales. Probably would have been faster with more experienced cooks. It makes a lot of tamales - we got about 34 - so having leftovers to freeze for another night helps make it worth the effort. We served them with tomatillo salsa and black beans on the side.