Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

Chicken tamales with green sauce. This version of the tamale is sold every morning and late afternoon at special puestos (tamale stands) in Mexico. For an online tamale making tutorial, including pictures, please see posted in the Mexican cooking forum.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 -6 serrano chilies
  • 1 lb tomatillo, husks removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 12 cup chicken stock
  • 12 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 14 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • dried corn husk, soaked in warm water until pliable
  • 4 cups prepared masa harina


  1. Cook chilies in a saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatillos and cook 2 more minutes; drain and transfer to a blender.
  3. Add garlic and chicken stock to the blender; puree.
  4. Add the cilantro and process briefly.
  5. Heat the oil; add onion and sauté until transparent.
  6. Add the tomatillo puree to the onions and cook over high heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the chicken to the sauce; stir and cover; cook over low heat for 5 more minutes.
  8. Add salt to taste (if the mixture is too thick, thin with a little chicken stock); set aside.
  9. Spread out a corn husk and place 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of masa on it; either flatten it with your hand or spread it evenly so that it covers a 2 by 3 inch square, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides.
  10. Place 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on top of the masa.
  11. Roll the husk up length wise; fold up the bottom.
  12. Set the tamales upright in your steamer basket and slightly inclined so that the tamales don't slip to the bottom.
  13. As soon as the water in your steamer comes to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 1 hour (or 25 minutes in a pressure cooker) or until the masa does not stick to the husk when unrolled.
  14. To freeze for another time, leave in their husks and seal them in a freezer bag; re-heat by either re-steaming them or microwaving them until hot.