This is only a weeknight recipe because of two awesome kitchen tools: a pressure cooker and a slow cooker. Get the whole family involved in the spreading and rolling of your tamales – the work is worth it!
Pressure Cooker Salsa Chicken Tamales
- pack corn husks
- 3 cups masa harina
- 1 cup vegetable shortening or lard
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups cooking liquid
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 cup chunky salsa
- Season the chicken breasts with taco seasoning and place them in slow cooker.
- Add salsa on top of chicken and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours. Shred and let cool for tamale filling.
- Rinse the corn husks and put them in a large shallow dish, like a casserole, and pour enough boiling water to cover. Use a heavy object, like the top from a pan, to keep the husks immersed.
- In the bowl of your mixer add masa harina, shortening, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment, slowly incorporate the ingredients and pour in about half the water into the bowl of a mixer. With paddle going slowly, drizzle about 1½ cups of the liquid. Masa should have a very soft “play-doh” type consistency – combined and sticky to the touch, not runny or crumbly. More or less liquid can be added to achieve the desired masa consistency.
- Lay out your work area with corn husks, filling, and masa.
- Just before starting to construct the tamales, flip the corn husks around so the ones that were soaking on the bottom are now on the top.
- Lay out one or three corn husks and wipe them down with a kitchen towel to dry and spread an even layer of masa in the middle top ⅔ of the husk.
- Place a small amount of meat (or filling of your choice) in the middle.
- Carefully fold closed, and then fold the bottom part, without squeezing. Leave the tops open.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pressure cooker and place the tamales open-side up. It may take a bit of arranging and some may be diagonal but no horizontal tamales!
- If not all can fit, cook in two batches. If you have just a few, tie them together in groups of threes with kitchen string so that they form a bit of a tripod can stand up on their own.
- Close the lid and set the valve to pressure cooking position. Cook for 30 minutes at high pressure. When time is up, naturally release pressure for 10-15 minutes. or when the pressure indicator/lid-lock has gone down.