Turkey Tamales - Tucson News Now

Turkey Tamales

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Thanksgiving Tamales


4# roasted turkey, white and dark meat shredded

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrot

2 cups turkey or chicken stock

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup fresh sage

1 tbls poultry seasoning

4 tbls corn starch

In a sauce pot,  sauté the onion, carrot and celery until soft.  Add the stock and cook for 15 minutes.  Add the fresh cranberries and cook for 2 minutes.  Thicken the broth with the corn starch and take off the heat.  Stir in the Shredded turkey.  When the turkey is cool, you can roll the tamales using the basic prepared masa and the corn husks.

Basic Fresh, Lard Free Masa Recipe:

Purchase unprepared Masa and prepare it as follows for a perfectly light, flavorful dough.   You can purchase prepared Masa but it more than likely will be made with Lard and will cause your tamales to be heavier and greasier.

5 pounds fresh Masa dough (unprepared) 
1 pound butter (or margarine if preferred or olive or vegetable oil.  If using oil you should freeze it so it is thick and it will whip better that way) 
2-3 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons baking powder 
2 tablespoons (or less) of sea salt

Place the butter into a bowl and ship until fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the fresh Masa alternately with the stock and add the salt. Beat until well mixed and turn mixer to high and beat for approximately 3-5 minutes or until Masa resembles spackling paste.

Take a small piece (1/2 teaspoon) and drop it into a cup of cold water. If it floats it is ready, if it sinks, whip for another minute and test it again. Repeat this process until the Masa floats.

Rolling your Tamale

(If you have never rolled tamales before you should find tamale rolling videos on the internet to see how they are done)

Have approx 4 pounds of corn husks and soak in water for 60 minutes before rolling.

Choose the larger corn husks.  Feel both sides of the husk, one side is rough or ‘ribby’, the other side is smooth.  You want to put the Masa on the smooth side of the husk.  If you put the Masa on the ribbed side, the Masa will stick to it when your tamales are done.  Put a husk in the palm of your hand and evenly spread 1/2 cup (an ice cream scoop is a good tool for this step) Masa across the middle (width) of the husk with a spatula or the back of a large spoon. In the center of the Masa, place ½ cup prepared filling mix. Fold both sides, one over the other, of the husk tightly over the filling. Hold firmly in your hand and tie at both ends with the strips of the husk.

Place all the tamales in a large steamer pot with a steamer basket with 3 to 4 inches of hot water on the bottom. Layer the tamales in a cross-cross pattern with the tied ends supporting the layer on top to allow them to steam uniformly and prevent crushing. Bring to a high boil and start timing the steaming process when the steam is rising out of the pot. Cover the tamales with leftover corn husks or a clean damp kitchen towel and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to medium high and steam for one hour.  Take the Tamales out of the pot and let them sit for 10 minutes before eating them. 


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