Chicken Tamales Pequeños with Smoked Blanca Sauce


Chicken Tamales Pequeños with Smoked Blanca Sauce

Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 30 mini-tamales



  • 1 whole, cage-free, all natural chicken, cut into pieces (keep bones on for flavor
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ head of fresh, minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 15 Corn Husks
  • 25 ounce Massa (Virgin)
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh cilantro
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup smoked butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • cilantro and Cotija cheese for garnish


  1. Immerse chicken in big pot of water. Add onions, garlic and salt. Cover and set to medium heat. Boil together for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from water, cool to touch and debone. Shred the chicken, place in large mixing bowl, season with salt. In a large container, place the corn husks deep in hot water and cover for a couple hours until they are soft and pliable. Tip: you may need to weigh them down with an inverted plate and a heavy can to keep them submerged. In an electric mixer add Massa to the bowl. At medium-low speed add the following ingredients one at a time: chili paste, baking powder, salt, oil and water. Mix everything until it gets soft and heavy. Drain water from husks. Cut husks in half in order to make mini tamales. One at a time, flatten out the husks and add 2 tablespoons of Massa on the middle of the corn husk, leaving a little more room at the bottom of the husk. Add 1/2 oz of chicken filling in the middle of the Massa. Take the left side of the husk and fold it directly over the right side. Fold the narrow bottom end of the husk onto the folded tamale. ** For parties and presentation you can tie with strip of corn husk when serving dry tamales. As you are making the tamales, stand them up on their rolled ends in a prepared steamer basket. Steam over boiling water for approximately 20-30 minutes until Massa is firm and holds its shape. Tip: Cover the tamales in the steamer with a layer of the left over corn husks. You can also fill empty spaces with gently wadded aluminum foil to prevent them from falling over.
  2. To make the smoked butter, place 3/4 cup butter in a deep bowl. Add smoking chips to your portable smoking gun. Light the smoking chips and allow to smolder. Place smoking tube into the bowl. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Once the bowl is filled with smoke, remove smoking tube. Seal the plastic wrap around the rim of the bowl. Allow smoke to infuse butter for about 2 minutes. Remove plastic wrap from bowl to allow smoke to escape. Butter is now ready to be used. Proceed to make the blanca salsa with smoked butter.
  3. For the blanca sauce, in a saucepan, bring the vinegar and tequila to a boil with the onions and cilantro sprig. Season with pepper. Reduce until only about 3 tablespoons of liquid remains. Strain. In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, with a whisk, beat the vinegar reduction and egg yolks until thick and foamy. Remove from the double boiler. Drizzle in the butter, whisking constantly. Adjust the seasoning. If the sauce seems too thick, whisk in a little hot water. Keep at room temperature and just before serving, place back on the double boiler, whisking for just a few seconds, to heat through. To serve, place tamales on a plate. Drizzle with the smoked blanca sauce and sprinkle with cilantro and Cotija cheese.

You may also like: