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Sonoma Market

Sonoma, CA 95476
6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
(707) 996-3411
tamales horizontal

Chicken Tamales

Prep time:
1 hour
Cook time:
2 hours 15 minutes
20-25 tamales
2 out of 5

Savory chicken, rich spices, hearty masa and fresh salsa verde all combine to make classic tamales that would make any abuelita proud.


  • 20-25 corn husks
  • 20-25 corn husk strips (¼-inch wide), optional
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 Fresh to Market Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups masa
  • 1 cup lard, melted
  • 16 ounces chicken stock or cooking liquid
  • 1 pint Nugget Markets Salsa Verde


Soak corn husks in hot water.

In a medium sauce pot, heat vegetable oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent. Add the chicken thighs and cook on low heat until the chicken is tender and begins to shred. Drain excess liquid and reserve.

Add the chili powder and cumin to the chicken over low heat. Stir in the spices and shred the chicken into small pieces. Season with salt to taste, then set aside to cool.

Place masa and lard in a work bowl. Mix in reserved cooking liquid or chicken stock and season with salt. Stir until lumps have been worked out, then chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Once cooled, the masa mixture will have the consistency of thick peanut butter.

To assemble tamales, place a soaked corn husk on a work surface with the point at the top. Spread a thin layer (⅛-¼ inch thick) of masa on the bottom ⅔ of the corn husk, leaving 1 inch from the edge. Place 2-3 tablespoons of shredded chicken down the middle and top with 1-2 tablespoons salsa verde. Fold the edges of the corn husk over the chicken in thirds, then tuck the tip underneath. Tie with corn husk strips if desired.

Place finished tamales in a steamer, folded side down. Steam for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until masa releases from the husk. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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  • chicken vert
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