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Saffron Chicken and Sausage Tamales with Cilantro Cream

Yield 12 servings (serving size: 2 tamales and about 1 tablespoon cream)
Rotisserie chicken works great in this recipe, and you'll have extra to use for meals later in the week.


  • 24 dried corn husks
  • Filling:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup diced smoked pork sausage (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded roasted chicken breast
  • 4 1/2 cups Basic Masa Dough
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Cream:
  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Nutrition Information

  • calories 293
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 9.5 g
  • satfat 3 g
  • monofat 3.5 g
  • polyfat 2 g
  • protein 15.3 g
  • carbohydrate 38.1 g
  • fiber 4.5 g
  • cholesterol 32 mg
  • iron 2 mg
  • sodium 621 mg
  • calcium 139 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place corn husks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain husks.

  2. To prepare filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until browned. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and saffron; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in chicken; remove from heat.

  3. Preheat oven to 450°.

  4. Working with one husk at a time, place about 3 tablespoons Basic Masa Dough in the center of husk about 1/2 inch from top of husk; press dough into a 4-inch-long by 3-inch-wide rectangle. Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon chicken mixture down one side of dough. Using the corn husk as your guide, fold husk over tamale, being sure to cover filling with dough; fold over 1 more time. Fold bottom end of husk under. Place tamale, seam side down, on the rack of a broiler pan lined with a damp towel. Repeat procedure with remaining husks, Basic Masa Dough, and filling. Cover filled tamales with another damp towel. Pour 2 cups hot water in the bottom of a broiler pan; top with prepared rack.

  5. Steam tamales at 450° for 55 minutes, adding water as necessary to maintain a depth of about 1/2 inch. Let tamales stand 10 minutes.

  6. To prepare cream, combine sour cream and remaining ingredients, stirring well. Serve with tamales.