Chicken tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that has gained popularity all over the world due to its unique taste and texture. Tamales are made from corn dough that is filled with meat or other ingredients and steamed until cooked. Chicken tamales are a healthier alternative to the traditional pork tamales, as chicken is a leaner meat and contains less fat. In this article, we will discuss a healthy chicken tamale recipe that is easy to make and packed with nutrients.
To make healthy chicken tamales, you will need the following ingredients:
For the chicken filling:
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
- 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
For the tamale dough:
- 2 cups of masa harina (corn flour)
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/3 cup of vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
For the corn husks:
- 20 dried corn husks
- Warm water
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- To make the chicken filling, season the chicken breasts with salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken breasts. Cook for 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it cool.
- Shred the cooled chicken with two forks and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Add the shredded chicken to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro.
- To make the tamale dough, combine the masa harina, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the vegetable shortening and use your hands to mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the chicken broth and mix until a smooth dough forms.
- To prepare the corn husks, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes, or until softened.
- To assemble the tamales, take one corn husk and spread a spoonful of tamale dough onto the center of the husk. Use a spoon to spread the dough evenly, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges.
- Spoon a tablespoon of the chicken filling onto the center of the dough.
- Fold the sides of the corn husk over the filling, then fold the bottom of the husk up over the filling. Tie the tamale with a piece of kitchen twine to secure it.
- Repeat the process with the remaining corn husks, tamale dough, and chicken filling.
- Place the tamales in a steamer basket and steam for 45-60 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through.
- Remove the tamales from the steamer and let them cool for a few minutes.
- To serve, unwrap the tamales from the corn husks and top with your favorite toppings, such as salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.
This healthy chicken tamale recipe yields approximately 20 tamales, and each tamale contains approximately:
- 179 calories
- 6.4 grams of fat
- 19.7 grams of carbohydrates
- 11.6 grams of protein
- 2.4 grams of fiber
Benefits of chicken tamales
Chicken tamales are a healthier alternative to traditional pork tamales because chicken is a leaner meat and contains less fat. In addition, tamales are a good source of carbohydrates, which provide energy to the body. The corn masa used to make the tamale dough is also a good source of fiber, which promotes digestive health.
Chicken is also a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. It also contains important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, niacin, and selenium.
Chicken tamales are a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional pork tamales. This recipe is easy to make and packed with nutrients, making it a great choice for a healthy and satisfying meal. With its unique flavor and texture, chicken tamales are sure to become a family favorite. So, next time you are looking for a tasty and healthy meal, give this chicken tamale recipe a try.