Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicken Tamales Wrapped in Banana Leafs

Banana Leaf Tamales Ready to Steam

Chicken Tamale with Plenty of Avocado Salsa

My Daughter and I recently made a big batch of tamales for a friends dinner party which gave me the idea to do a few extra for myself, I decided to use banana leafs as a wrapper instead of the more traditional corn husks. The filling I chose was a slow braise of chicken legs, onions and a spicy red chili sauce, after a few hours the falling apart chicken was shredded and set aside. I made the masa dough and added freshly cut corn to boost the taste and give it a crunchy texture. At this point its just assembling and steaming the tamales for about an hour. One helpful hint when working with fresh or frozen banana leafs is that they can be a little stiff and can crack so hold them over a gas fire for a few seconds, this will soften them and make them easy to fold. I love avocados in everything so I made spicy cilantro spiked salsa with them for serving.
Note: Frozen Banana leafs can often be found in Latin or Asian markets

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