Arroz con Pollo Tamales

Adapted by
Tamales , Wiley Publishers, 2003
Yield: 6 Servings


Masa Seca Tamale Dough
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons minced garlic
5 scallions cut into ½ inch slices
1 red bell pepper, roasted, deveined, seeded, and julienned
1 green bell pepper, roasted, deveined, seeded and julienned
salt and white pepper, to taste
1 cup white rice
6 red Serrano chilies, seeded and minced
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
3 tablespoons capers, drained
¼ cup whole green olives, drained
¼ cup whole Kalamata olives, drained
6 ounces canned garbanzos (chickpeas), drained
6 6- ounce boneless chicken breasts
olive oil, for brushing
6 large dried cornhusks, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or an oven proof sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, white part of the scallions, and bell peppers and sauté until the peppers are tender but firm, about 5 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and white pepper to taste. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Add the chilies, chicken stock, saffron, capers, olives, and garbanzos and stir to thoroughly combine. Season the chicken with salt and white pepper and add to the skillet, submerging the chicken in the liquid. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the rice is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cut 6 square pieces of plastic wrap measuring 6 inches by 6 inches each. Lay out each piece on a flat work surface and brush with olive oil. Divide the tamale mixture evenly among them and mold into a rectangular shape. Fold two of the sides of the plastic wrap over, and then fold over the other two sides to form into a tight envelope package. Repeat for the remaining tamales.

Fill the bottom of a steamer or saucepan fitted with a strainer or vegetable basket with 2 to 3 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and place the tamales in the steamer. Cover tightly with a lid or foil, making sure very little if any steam escapes during cooking. Steam the tamales for about 15 minutes over lightly boiling water until firm, adding more boiling water if needed.

Drain the cornhusks and shake dry. Lay out each husk in the center of a large serving dish. Unwrap the tamales and place in the center of each husk. Place a chicken breast leaning on the side of each tamale and spoon the rice mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle with the green part of the scallions.