Hallacas Guajiras De Pollo (Chicken Tamales)

Recipe by threeovens
READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
YIELD: 30 packets




  • In a large saucepan, combine chicken, onion, garlic, chopped red and green peppers, green onions, cumin, sazon, salt and water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and cook until the chicken is very tender, about an hour (most of the water will have cooked out).
  • Let cool a bit, then shred chicken, discarding bones and skin.
  • Place chicken back in the sauce pan and add in the peas and carrots, green beans, capers, minced red bell pepper, and raisins.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the alinos by placing all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and processing to form a paste; you will only use 1/2 cup of this, but the rest can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for longer storage (it is fantastic in rice, soups, or stews).
  • Now place the masarepa in a large bowl; add water, salt, 1/2 cup of the alinos, and achiote oil.
  • Mix with your hands until smooth.
  • To assemble: On a clean work surface, place a banana leaf, then place another one perpendicular to sort of form a cross.
  • Spread out about 5 tablespoons (not rounded) in the center and top with 3 tablespoons of the filling.
  • Make a package by folding up the inner banana leaf, then the other; tie with kitchen string.
  • Repeat with remaining masa and filling.
  • Place water under the steamer basket, bring to a boil, reduce heat and steam, covered, until the masa is tender and cooked through, about 45 minutes.