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Red Chile Chicken Filling for Tamales (America's Test Kitchen) Recipe

4.8 stars - based on 8 votes
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This recipe for Red Chile Chicken Filling for Tamales (America's Test Kitchen), by , is from Bowman Family Favorites, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Lindsay Merrill


4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
4 dried New Mexican chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 1/2 Tbs cider vinegar
Sugar (I used about 1/4 cup)

1. Toast chiles in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant (2-6 minutes). Transfer to a bowl.

2. Heat oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened (5-7 minutes). Stir in garlic, cumin, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and toasted chiles and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in broth and simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly reduced. Transfer mixture to blender and process until smooth (about 20 seconds). Return to skillet.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken into skillet. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until chicken is 160 F (20-25 minutes).

4. Transfer chicken to a tray, casserole dish, or carving board. Let sit for 10 minutes. Shred chicken into small pieces.

5. Stir vinegar into sauce. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Add 1 cup sauce to chicken. Reheat remaining sauce and serve on top of tamales.

Note: I made the filling the night before and put it into the tamales cold. It worked out great. I actually recommend making the filling ahead of time so your kitchen is clean and less hectic for the tamale making.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Enough for about 20 tamales.




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