Wild Turkey Tamales

Recipe Courtesy:


Note
: This recipe can be made with any wild game, including shredded wild turkey breasts.

About the Masa (corn dough): To prepare the masa, pick up a bag at the grocery store and follow the directions on the bag for tamale dough. I start with 2 cups masa harina flour, 2/3 cup melted Crisco, 1 1/4 cups warm chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Start mixing with a fork, but eventually you’ll need to get in there with your hands to make sure it’s thoroughly mixed. The masa should be the consistency of moist cookie dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more chicken broth. Too wet, mix in a little more masa harina flour.

The Corn Husks: Dried corn husks are available in grocery stores and Hispanic markets. If you can’t find them in yours, try it with fresh corn husks or parchment paper cut into a large triangle about the size of an outside corn husk.

The Stuffing: The following recipe will get you started on your way to tamale greatness, but you really should experiment and make up your own signature tamales.

- Makes about 16 small tamales:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup fresh tomatillos, quartered (or substitute green tomatoes or omit)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked wild turkey breast, cut into 1/2 cubes or shredded

Have handy your:

  • moist masa dough, starting with 2 cups masa harina flour (see above)
  • 16 corn husks, soaked in water for at least 1 hour (or parchment paper, see above)
  • large pot with lid and steamer basket or perforated insert

Instructions:

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, tomatillos, garlic and jalapeno and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes. Add chile powder, cumin, salt, and turkey breast and stir to blend flavors. Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes and then allow to cool.

For each tamale, lay the corn husk on a flat surface with the narrow end pointing towards you. Take about 2 – 3 tablespoons of the masa and spread evenly along the bottom quarter of the corn husk, about 1/2 inch from any edge of the husk. In the center of the masa, place a few tablespoons of the turkey mixture. Fold the left edge over the stuffing. The idea is to surround the stuffing with masa. Fold the right edge over and fold the bottom up towards the center. Place in a hot steamer basket with a water level just under the bottom of the basket. Place tamales fold-side-down in basket, leaving a little room between each so that steam can cook each one. Add water as they steam, if necessary. Tamales will take from 25 – 40 minutes to steam, depending on how big they are. They will be soft, moist and hot when cooked and will firm up as they start to cool.

 

 


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