Spicy tomato sauce that is added to the masa.
Next we added 8 cups chili sauce. Notice the deep red color. After adding the chili sauce, we also added 3 pounds of melted vegetable shortening.(And you thought these were heathly!) You can also use lard, in fact Micaela thinks that using lard gives it more flavor.Micaela is mixing the chili sauce and tomato sauce into the masa.
Micaela mixed and kneaded the dough over and over. She got quite the workout! The way to tell if the dough is ready is by making a ball and flattening it on the back of your hand. If you can see a shiny spot on your hand where the dough was, then it's ready.
These are the finished masa patties.
Next, the patties are placed inside the corn husks and flattened in this cool tortilla press. This one is homemade and was given to Micaela from her mom. Once the masa is flattened, a tablespoon of chicken (which has been mixed with the remaining chili sauce) is place in the center of the masa. The ends are folded over each other, and husk is closed and folded as well. Below is the finished product.
We wrapped the tamales by the dozen in foil so they are ready to freeze. We ended up with 26 dozen tamales. However, we ran out of chicken and had about 150 dough patties left over. Micaela took them home and made another 13 dozen tamales. So the grand total was 39 dozen tamales! Phew! That was a lot of work!
Before eating the tamales, you must first steam them for about 45 minutes until they solidify. They are absolutely delicious and definitely worth all the time and effort! Thanks Mica!