Chicken and Red Chili Tamales

Chicken and Red Chili Tamales

1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, peeled and left whole
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 dried ancho chili, stemmed and seeded
1 cup water
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 whole cloves
About 20 dried corn husks
3/4 cup masa harina
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

To prepare the filling: combine the chicken, the whole onion, one of the garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and enough water to barely cover the chicken in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the onion. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Reserve the broth and set aside. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, thinly slice or shred, moisten with a little of the reserved broth and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the chopped onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining garlic cloves and the chili; cook until the garlic is golden and the chili is toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the water, tomato, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, cloves and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Discard the cloves.

Puree the mixture in batches in a food processor or blender; return to the saucepan and add the chicken. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
Combine the corn husks and enough hot water to cover in a large bowl. Soak, turning occasionally, until pliable, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to prepare the masa dough, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the masa harina, shortening and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt until mixture comes together. Add 3/4 of the reserved broth; beat on low speed until light and spongy, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate the dough about 20 minutes.

Drain and rinse the corn husks; keep covered with a damp towel. Cut 2 or 3 of the husks lengthwise into 16 (1/4-inch wide) strips, set aside.

Flatten a corn husk on a work surface; spread 2 tablespoons dough over the husk, leaving a 3/4-inch margin on all sides. Spoon 11/2 tablespoons filling on top of the dough. Roll up lengthwise into a cylinder; secure each end by tying with a strip of husk. Repeat with the remaining husks, dough and filling, making a total of 16 tamales.

Place tamales in a steamer basket; set in a saucepan over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover tightly; reduce the heat to low and steam until very hot, about 45 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (2 tamales): 120 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 15 mg cholesterol, 320 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 9 g protein.

– Recipe from “Weight Watchers Entertains With the Chefs From The Culinary Institute of America,”

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