Combination Tamales

Traditional tamales are wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves, but you may also use parchment paper. Butter is substituted for the traditional lard in this recipe.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 45 minutesTotal: 3 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 16 dried corn husks
  • 3 cups masa harina
  • 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3⁄4 cup chicken broth (cold)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked pork roast, shredded
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt


  • Soak corn husks in warm water for 2 hours to soften. Mix masa harina with 1 3⁄4 cups hot water and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter with baking powder until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add soaked masa harina 1 cup at a time, beating it into butter. Add chicken broth and salt and beat for 1 more minute.
  • In a large bowl, mix chicken and pork with olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt and set aside.
  • Remove corn husks from water and lay them out on a clean kitchen towel to drain. Cover each husk with a 1⁄2-inch-thick layer of masa harina mixture, leaving an L-shaped border of 1 inch on two consecutive sides.
  • Put 2 tablespoons chicken and pork mixture in the middle of the masa harina mixture on each husk. Roll tamales closed, starting with the side with no border. Fold up the other border end to enclose the roll on one end. Place the finished tamales seam-sides down so they don’t unroll while you finish the others.
  • Place tamales in a deep steamer or pasta-cooker basket with the open ends up. Pack tamales next to each other so they stand up straight. Place the basket in a pot over boiling water, cover, and steam tamales for about 35 minutes. Add water if necessary so the pot doesn’t run dry. Serve tamales in their husks; they can be peeled off by each diner.