Recipe from: 23 April 2015
recipes, Mexican

Ingredients 13
Servings 10
Time 00:15


  • 2
    ready roasted chicken leg quarters, meat stripped off the bone and finely chopped
  • 2
    vegetable oil
  • 1
    white onion, finely chopped
  • 1
    green pepper finely chopped
  • 2
    carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4
    cloves garlic, grated
  • Mexican spice mis (see link)
  • 1/2
    tin corn, drained
  • 2
  • 1
    olive oil
  • salt
  • 250
    full cream milk
  • water, as needed



Have ready:
Bamboo steamer

15 Foil sheets 20cm x 20cm


Start by stripping the rotisserie chicken of its meat – skin and all. Set aside.
In a large pot heat the veg oil.
Add the chopped onion and cook until clear before adding the green pepper and carrots and continue to cook for another five minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are an even light brown.
Add 2 tablespoons of Mexican Spice and cook for one minute before adding the cooked chicken.
Mix through and set aside.

Heat the milk, oil, salt and one cup water until you see a light simmer – be careful not to boil this mixture as it might boil over.
Whisking continuously (you might want someone to help you here) add the polenta in one steady flow.
Continue whisking as the polenta thickens up and cook for 20 minutes.
If the polenta gets too dry, add a little more water or milk. (You’re looking for a thick porridge consistency.)

To assemble the tamales

Lay out the polenta the cooked chicken and corn as well as 15 sheets of foil roughly 20cmx20cm.
Let’s start – with your foil sheets shiny side up add a large serving spoon of polenta to the foil followed by some of the chicken mixture and again with polenta. You want a polenta parcel with the chicken in the middle.
Fold the foil around the parcel but not too tightly.

Poke a few holes in the foil on both sides with a cake tester and repeat until they’re all done.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to the boil and have your steamer ready.
When the tamales are done, steam them for 15 minutes on each side. Alternatively you can braai them in the foil on a grill over warm coals for 10 – 15 minutes on each side careful not to burn them.

Enjoy the tamales immediately with salsa, chimichurri sauce, guacamole or sour cream. You may also consider substituting the chicken for refried beans for a veggie option.

Recipe reprinted with permission of Fetty's Street Food.
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