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Classic Chicken Tamales

Classic chicken tamales recipe: A step-by-step guide to making traditional tamales with tender chicken filling. Perfect for family dinners.

The Timeless Tradition of Classic Chicken Tamales: A Taste of History

Originating from the heart of Mesoamerica, classic chicken tamales stand as a testament to centuries of culinary tradition.
With roots tracing back to ancient civilizations like the Aztecs and Mayans, these savory delights have evolved into a cherished staple of Mexican cuisine.


Classic Chicken Tamales

Cooking method: Steaming
Cuisine: Mexican
Courses: Main Course
Difficulty: intermediate
Prep timeCook TimeRest TimeTotal Time
45 min 90 min 5 min 140 min
Servings: 6 person
Calories: 295kcal
Best season: all

The History

of classic chicken tamales is steeped in both cultural significance and practicality. In ancient times, they served as portable sustenance for warriors and travelers, wrapped in corn husks for preservation and convenience.
Over time, the recipe evolved, incorporating new ingredients and techniques introduced by Spanish colonizers.

Today, the process of making classic chicken tamales remains a labor of love, often shared among family and friends during festive occasions and gatherings.
The preparation involves a meticulous balance of masa harina, tender shredded chicken, and a symphony of spices, all carefully encased within a corn husk and steamed to perfection.

Classic Chicken Tamales Recipe
A step-by-step guide to making traditional tamales with tender chicken filling


their culinary appeal, classic chicken tamales symbolize community and tradition.
Each bite carries the flavors of history, reminding us of the resilience and ingenuity of generations past.

As we savor the warmth and aroma of these timeless treats, we pay homage to the rich heritage that continues to enrich our tables and nourish our souls.
Classic chicken tamales are more than just a dish—they are a taste of history, connecting us to our roots and uniting us in celebration.


For the masa dough

For the chicken filling

For assembling the tamales


  1. Prepare the filling

    In a skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.

  2. Sauté onions and garlic until softened.

  3. Add shredded chicken, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
    Set aside.

  4. Prepare the masa dough

    In a large bowl, mix masa harina, baking powder, and salt.

  5. In a separate bowl, beat the lard until fluffy.

  6. Gradually add masa mixture and chicken broth to the beaten lard, mixing until you achieve a soft dough consistency.

  7. Assemble the tamales

    Spread a thin layer of masa dough onto the center of a corn husk.

  8. Spoon a small amount of the chicken filling onto the masa.

  9. Fold the sides of the husk inward and then fold the bottom up. Secure with kitchen twine if necessary.

  10. Steam the tamales

    Arrange the tamales vertically in a steamer pot.

  11. Steam over boiling water for about 60-90 minutes, or until the masa is firm and easily pulls away from the husk.

  12. Let the tamales rest for a few minutes before serving.

    Enjoy, Good Appetite!