Salsa Verde Chicken Tamales

Tamales in the summer opposed to the holidays?! Probably a damn delicious idea. Living in L.A. there’s so many taco trucks and stands that sell tamales, but finding them is the hard part! Plus, if you do find them, the quality isn’t up to (my) standards. Therefore it shouldn’t be for your’s either! This recipe will keep you in the house and have your neighbors knocking at the door. Hey, make that money, don’t let it make you!

What you’ll need: (serves 10-15 people)


  •  Cilantro
  • 6 green tomatillos
  • 2 jalapeños 2 habanero chilis
  • 3 bone in skin on chicken breasts
  • 2lbs of masa
  • 1 bad of corn husks
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 avocado
  • crema mexicana
  • hardware: 2 large pots and one steamer pot. (3 pots total)


  1. soak your corn husks in warm water for 10-15 min. IMG_2319
  2. Boil your chicken in salt pepper and half of a white onion and cilantro.IMG_2312
  3. While your chicken is boiling and husks are soaking you can start on your homemade salsa.
  4. Cut your veggies up in dice size to be put in the blender
  5. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the stock and set it out to cool down (this makes hand shredding it much easier). Now add some of the stock to your blender, this is your salsa base and adds a little natural salts too for flavor. Blend into almost a puree, it’s salsa!IMG_2321
  6. Now it’s time to remove your husks and squeeze out the excess water between them. start separating them individually and lay them out, the process of the tamale will now begin!
  7. Some husks are smaller than others and thats okay, we can overlay and overlay so don’t count them all out we need them all. When you are laying them down keep the pointed ends towards the outside “<   >” so that the wider area of the husk is in the middle overlapping by 2inches. It’s like your making a tamale cocoon (ewe I know) but you get the hint lol.
  8. Grab a hand full of masa and spread it out onto the husks. This kinda acts like glue for the husks. Then add chicken and drizzle your salsa on top.
  9. Now you’ll fold over the husk to wrap it first horizontally then using your ends to tuck over vertically. like this: IMG_2327
  10. Place them in your steaming pot standing upright and making sure the opening of your 2inch overlay is facing up so that the salsa and ingredients cant drip out under the steam.
  11. The cooking process takes about 1.5-2 hours of steam cooking. Never submerge them in water but make sure that since it is steam you always have enough water in the bottom of the chamber. So you should check them every 30min to make sure the level is good by adding water down the inside edge of the pot.
  12. No need to flip or turn just test one by carefully opening it up and seeing the progress of your masa you want a firm bread like texture not dough-y. If the test wasn’t ready wrap it back up and give it some more time..
  13. I served my tamales with extra salsa, Mexican table cream (crema fresca) and a slice of avocado, its the cali way! Enjoy and try your best not to eat too many. 🙂  IMG_2329IMG_2332IMG_2333IMG_2333

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Bilingual foodie who finds life in creating dishes from all over the world. Food doesn't have to be expensive to be delicious!

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