Flickr Creative Commons

Deglet Noor Date Tamales with Chicken and Smoked Jalapenos

Yield: 40 Tamales

Ingredients: 
1 lb Instant Corn Masa Mix
1 c Clarified Unsalted Butter
1 q Whole Milk
1⁄2 c Granulated Sugar
3⁄4 c Deglet Noor Date Puree (recipe included)
25 Deglet Noor Dates (julienne)
1 lb Deglet Noor Dates (pitted)
12 fl oz Boiling Water (as needed)
2 Chickens (whole)
1 Onion (large, rough chopped)
2 Carrots (medium, rough chopped)
3 Celery (rough chopped)
1 T Coriander Seeds
1 pn Sprig Fresh Thyme
4 clv Garlic
2 Bay Leaves
10 Peppercorn
8 Chipotle Peppers (dry)
3 Green Onion (sliced thing)
1 1⁄2 T Cilantro (chopped)
  pn Salt & Pepper (to taste)
40 Corn Husks (softened, to wrap tamales)
Instructions: 

Masa Dough for Tamales
1 lb. Instant Corn Masa Mix
1 cup Clarified Unsalted butter
1 qt. Whole Milk
½ cup Granulated Sugar
¾ cup Deglet Noor Date Puree (recipe follows)
25 Each Deglet Noor Dates, Julienne

Method of Preparation: Place instant corn masa mix in bowl; add clarified butter, date puree, sugar and half of the amount of milk. Mix well to incorporate into a thick paste. Add remaining milk, a little at a time until proper consistency is achieved. Mixture should be like smooth peanut butter consistency. It is best to mix dough using your hands. Once you have the proper consistency, fold in the julienne Deglet Noor dates. Store in an airtight container until ready to assemble tamales.

Deglet Noor Puree
1 lb. Deglet Noor Dates, Pitted
As Needed Boiling Water

Method: Place dates in a stainless container or glass bowl. Pour enough boiling water to cover dates by one inch. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to soak until soft. Once softened, place mixture in a high speed blender and blend into a smooth puree.

Filling for Tamales
2 Each Whole Chickens
1 Each Large Onion, Rough Chopped
2 Each Medium Carrots, Rough Chopped
3 Each Stalks Celery, Rough Chopped
1 tbs. Coriander Seeds
1 Each Fresh Thyme Sprig
4 Each Garlic cloves
2 Each Bay Leaves
10 Each Peppercorns
8 Each Chipotle Peppers, Dry
3 Each Green Onions, sliced thin
1 12 Tbs. cilantro, Chopped
To Taste Salt & Pepper
40 Each Softened Corn Husks to wrap tamales

Method: Put the two whole chickens in a stockpot with the carrots, onions, and celery and cover with cold water. Add the coriander seed, thyme sprig, garlic cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer on low until the chicken is cooked through. Be sure to skim the top removing any impurities. Once the chickens are cooked, remove them from the stockpot and cool. Strain the reserved stock and discard all of the fat from the stock. Save stock as it will be used for the mole.

While the chickens are cooling, heat 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock and add the dried chipotle peppers. Allow them to steep until they are soft and re-hydrated. Once re-hydrated, remove the stems and seeds and chop fine.

Complete the filling: Once the chickens are cool, putt the chicken meat into shreds and discard all the bones, skin and cartilage. Place all the pulled chicken meat in a mixing bowl, add the chopped chipotle pepper, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro. Mix to incorporate. Add a little of the chipotle chicken stock if mixture feels too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve until ready to assemble tamales.

Assemble the Tamales: Place softened corn husks on countertop, scoop about 3 Tbs. of the Date Masa on the center of the husk. Using a spatula spread the masa evenly to cover the center of the softened corn husk, approximately a 3 inch by 3 inch square in the center. Once the masa is spread, add approximately 2 tbs. of the chicken mixture to the center of the masa. Roll the tamale by folding one end of the corn husk over the filling an droll until the end. Fold one end of the corn husk under the bottom and tie the other end using stands of the corn husk. Once all of the tamales are assembled, rolled and tied, place in a perforated pan and steam for 30 minutes. Once cooked through, remove from steamer and let them rest for a couple of minutes. Unwrap the tamale; it should be firm with no raw masa.