Ecuadorean Ecuadorian Tamales De Navidad - for Christmas

Recipe by Pesto lover
READY IN: 3hrs




  • Place whole chicken in large pot with water to cover. Add 1 whole onion, 1 garlic clove, 2 sprigs parsley, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook on medium heat until the chicken is falling off the bone.
  • Remove chicken from water & cool.
  • Strain broth and reserve 4 cups.
  • When cool, skin and bone chicken. Shed chicken meat.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil in skillet and add 1/2 diced onion. Sauté over low heat until very soft. Add peanut butter and mix until melted, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp sugar, milk and allspice. Cook until almost ready to boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In large heavy pot, place masa flour and 3 cups cooled broth. First whisk and then continue to mix with strong wooden spoon. Cook over medium high heat, do not let lumps form. Turn often with wooden spoon. When a thin dark brown crust forms on the bottom of the pot, it is done.
  • Let masa cool in pot until lukewarm. Turn masa out onto board or waxed paper.
  • When cool enough to handle, add butter, and lard if you are using it. Knead in by hand. Add 6 oz sugar and knead it. Taste a bit of masa for salt. If your broth was not salty, add 1/2-3/4 tsp salt. Add in the 3 eggs, one at a time. Knead well.
  • Separate out balls of dough, about the size of a small lemon. Place in center of each banana leaf or foil or parchment paper square wrapper and pat out with your hand until each is about 6" round.
  • Place about 1/4 c chicken filling onto each masa round.
  • Place one piece of hard-boiled egg, one olive, 1 slice red bell pepper, 3 pieces of parboiled onion and 3 raisins on top of chicken mixture on each masa round.
  • Fold over each round into half-moon shape and press edges together well.
  • Fold over wrapper and tie with kitchen twine if using banana leaves. if using foil or parchment paper, seal edges well.
  • Place tamales, in batches, in steamer and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with wrapper still on. Each person opens their own.
  • If you want to omit a certain filling ingredient from some of them, you can tie different colors of thread around those to identify them later.