Now that the holidays are here, we are all planning on what our dinner menus will be. Our familia, like many other hispanic families, make tamales for Christmas. Even if we are cooking up a ham or turkey, tamales are always a part of every Christmas. Sometimes, we can’t all get together for our tamale making party. When this is the case, I turn to my grandmother’s chicken tamale casserole – it’s absolutely delicious and your familia will love it!
Chicken Tamale Casserole
2 cooked shredded chicken breasts
1/2 onion chopped
1 small can of sliced chiles
1 can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons of vinegar
2 Tablespoons chicken Bouillon
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups of water
2 potatoes cubed and cooked
1 1/2 cup of peas and carrots (frozen)
1 lb of masa (dough)
Drizzle the the pan with oil and place the onions in the pan. Mix the onions around and then add the flour one spoon at a time until all of the flour is in the pan – then stir. Pour in your tomato sauce and stir all ingredients. Lastly, pour 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and chicken bouillon into the pan. Stir the pan and place on low heat. The sauce will begin to thicken.
Once the sauce is ready add the shredded chicken, peas, carrots, can of chiles drained, and potatoes – stir all ingredients. The filling is ready!
Spray your dish with some nonstick spray. Grab a softball size ball of of masa (this can be purchased at most Mexican/Hispanic markets) and start to flatten with with your hands like a tortilla – then place into the casserole dish. With your hands, spread out the masa completely around the dish until all areas are covered on the sides of the dish as well.
Start to fill your pie dish with the filling.
To make the top part of the casserole I use a softball size masa ball and I place it between two pieces of wax paper. With my hands, I flatten the masa in a round shape as wide as my pie dish. I peel the top wax paper off. I then grab the other piece of wax paper with the flattened masa side down and place over the pie dish carefully. With my finger, I close any holes or tears and seal the edges by pressing down all around the pie dish – basically like any pie. Place in the oven at 350 for about 60 minutes or until the masa is golden brown.