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Christmas is near, which means a lot of prep work must be done for the weekend. My family and I used to go to my grandmothers every year but now that she moved to Florida we spend it at home. At my grandmothers we would have roasted pork, tamales, yucca, aroz con gandules, tortillas… your typical Central American cuisine. Even if Christmas will be spent in different states this year, we will do our best to make the same food. First tackle- is the tamale.

Ingredients:

  • 24 Corn Husks

For Chicken:

  • 7 Chicken Thighs (with Bone)
  • 3 Jalepanos
  • 6 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 Red onion
  • 1 Cup of Cilantro
  • Sofrito
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Stalk

Filling:

  • 3 Small Carrots (diced)
  • 2 Small Potatoes ( chopped to small pieces)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Capers

Masa for the Tamales:

  • 4 Cups of Masa
  • 2 2/3 Cups of Water
  • Oil

1.) Soak the corn husks in hot water for an hour. In the meantime stir fry the garlic, onions, cilantro and jalapeno with the sofrito. Add the Chicken thighs (keep bone in!) and chicken stalk. Dilute the tomato paste with a little bit of hot water. Add it to the Chicken thighs. Cook chicken through.

2.) Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove from pot and set aside to cool. Take the stalk that the chicken was cooked it (mix of chicken stalk, tomato paste, jalapeno, garlic, onions, cilantro and sofrito) and put aside in a bowl to cool. Dry the corn husk leaves.

Make sure to shred small pieces using your hands not a knife. Take the warm stalk and blend it in a blender. This will later be added to the masa to form the tamales.

3.) To prepare the masa dough, combine the masa, olive oil and the stalk that was blended earlier. Knead the masa so all the ingredients are incorporated. If you find the masa to be dry add water. You want to keep the masa somewhat sticky so when it cooks it doesn’t become dry.

4.) Now its time to put all the ingredients together. Take about 2 -3 tablespoons of the masa and roll it in to a ball.

Flatten the masa on the corn husks. Spread it out evenly with your fingers. Add a few strips of the chicken and sprinkle the potatoes, carrots and capers. Fold the vertical sides first and then the top and bottom over. Tie tightly with cooking string.

5.) Once you have put together the 24  tamales place in a big pot.Cover for about an hour. Let tamales cool before putting them in the fridge. ENJOY!

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