Updated: March 2021
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Making amazing tasting green chile chicken tamales with fresh homemade ingredients. This guide will show how to prep & cook authentic green chile tamales with chicken, including making fresh masa complete with video, pictures and product links.

How To Make Authentic Green Chile Chicken Tamales - In 10 Steps

Estimated Quantity: 25 Tamales

  1. Soak Husks 30-60 minutes until softened
  2. Boil Chicken Breasts SAVE water for chicken broth to make the Masa
  3. Boil Tomatillos, Jalapeños, Serranos, & White Onion
  4. Make Masa
  5. Make Chile
  6. Prep Chicken
  7. Dry Off Husks
  8. Assemble Tamales
  9. Steam Tamales
  10. Cool & Enjoy!


  • 3 Pounds Chicken Breasts (3-4 pieces)
  • 1 Package Corn Husks (approx. 1 lb)
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons Caldo con Sabor de Pollo (Knorr Brand Chicken Flavor Bouillon)
  • 1 Tablespoons Adobo All Purpose Limón & Pimienta Seasoning (Goya Brand Lemon & Pepper)
  • Masa
  • 4 Cups Instant Corn Masa Mix (Maseca Brand Tamal 4.4 pound bag)
  • 4 Teaspoons Redmond ® Real Salt
  • 1 ⅓ Cups Lard
  • 2 ⅔ Cups Chicken Broth (broth from boiled chicken)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Green Chile
  • 6 Serrano Peppers
  • 3 Jalapeños
  • 18 Tomatillos
  • 1 Medium White Onion
  • 4 Sprigs of Cilantro

Recommended Equipment

  1. Step 1: Soak Husks
    • Fill Imusa pot with HOT tap water, up to the steamer rack and place the husks in (about 35).
    • Add husks one-by-one so husks soak evenly. Soak for 30-60 minutes, until softened.
    • Soaking tamale husks Soaking tamale husks in pot
  2. Step 2: Boil Chicken Breasts
    • Fill a large pot with about 2 gallons of water and bring to a boil.
    • Add chicken breasts, 2 ½ Tablespoons of Caldo con Sabor de Pollo and 1 Tablespoons of Limón & Pimienta seasonings.
    • Turn heat to medium/low for 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked.
    • Place chicken in a pyrex bowl and cover. Store in the refridgerator for 30 minutes until it's time to assemble tamales.
    • Chicken broth from step 2
    • TIP - SAVE the water. The water will be used as the chicken broth to make the fresh homemade masa.
  3. Step 3: Boil Tomatillos, Jalapeños, Serranos, & White Onion
    • In a large pot, fill with water halfway and bring to a boil.
    • Add ingredients and boil for 20-25 mins or until you see the tomatillos turn a lighter green.
    • Boiling chile ingredients for tamales
    • Once ingredients are softened, strain and let cool for 15 minutes.
    • Softened chile ingredients
  4. Step 4: Make Masa
    • Mix corn flour, salt and baking powder in a Kitchenaid mixer using flat beater for a few seconds.
    • Instant Corn Flour Masa Mix
    • Add lard and mix on low for 30 seconds.
    • Continue at a low speed and slowly add chicken broth.
    • TIP - Warm the broth before adding. This will produce more consistent masa and it will also be easier to spread on husks later..
    • Once broth is added turn up speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds.
    • Fresh homemade tamale masa
  5. Step 5: Make Chile
    • Once chile ingredients are cooled (from step 3), pour into Ninja Blender.
    • OPTIONAL: Add cilantro and salt (~1 ½ teaspoons), to taste.
    • Tamale green chile mixture
    • Blend of medium for 5 seconds. Chile should appear chunky. Set aside in blender.
    • Blended green chile for tamales
  6. Step 6: Prep Chicken
    • Remove cooled chicken from the fridge and 'clean' fat and other particles from each piece.
    • Tear each piece into small strips so it will be easy to stuff Tamales and eat! (Picture for reference).
    • Tamale chicken Tamale chicken shredding
    • Use a large Pyrex bowl and add chicken. Slowly add chile from the blender, just enough to coat chicken.
    • TIP - Adding too much chile can result in uneven cooking times and consistency.
    • TIP - Any extra chile can be used as salsa for chips, cooked tamales, etc..
    • Tamale Green Chile Chicken Mixture
  7. Step 7: Dry Off Husks
    • Drain all the water in Imusa pot and lay out the husks on a towel.
    • Dry off each husk as best as you can. They can still be slightly wet.
    • Take the smaller husks and tear small strips to use for tying tamales.
    • Tearing strips in chicken husks
  8. Step 8: Assemble Tamales
    • Take a husk and with one hand hold the smaller end. With the other hand take a scoop of Masa and evenly spread on ¾ of the husk.
    • Spreading masa on tamale husk masa on tamale husk
    • Once Masa is spread, add the chicken-chile mixture. (Picture for reference) Amount will vary. Add an even amount of chicken and Masa.
    • Tamale stuffing ingredients
    • Take the end with the chicken and roll tightly to the other end of the husk. Tamale should be tightly rolled.
    • Tamale rolling Tamale rolling part 2
    • Take one of the ties and tie it at the smaller end of the tamale. Double knot it.
    • Tamale tying Tamale before steaming
  9. Step 9: Steam Tamales
    • Fill Imusa pot with water just below the steam rack. Place a coffee mug or non-breakable cup in the center of the steam rack. Bring water to a boil.
    • Add each tamale one by one so each tamale is leaning upright and leaning towards the cup in the center.
    • Lower heat from high to medium. Place the lid on the pot and keep it open just an inch. Steam for an hour to an hour and a half.
    • Steaming tamales
    • TIP - Check a larger tamale to ensure batch is thoroughly cooked..
    • Steam until all cooked. Should not take more than 2 hours. If it takes longer you may have added too much chile, masa or tamales are larger in size. No worries, just steam until masa is done.
  10. Step 10: Cool & Enjoy
    • unrolling steamed tamale
    • Let tamales cool on wire rack for a few minutes.
    • Untie, unroll and enjoy!
    • Finished Green Chile Chicken Tamale

Watch each step in full detail in our YouTube video - Amazing Green Chile TAMALES Recipe - Fresh Tamales from Scratch!!!

DISCLAIMER: This How-To Guide contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. We may earn a commission if you click on one of the affiliate links and purchase something.

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