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Tamales de Rajas con Pollo

Tamales de rajas con pollo are one of my favorite foods right after pork tamales of course.

Eating tamales is something my family always looks forward to since it’s not something I make frequently.

I would say I make them probably 2-3 times a year.

Tamales are a lot of work but if you divide the tamale making process into 2-3 days like I do then it makes it a whole lot easier!

tamales de rajas con pollo

Tamales de rajas con pollo are chicken tamales (tamales de pollo) with strips of tomato, onion and jalapenos.

The rajas or strips are always my favorite!

In fact I prefer less chicken and more strips.

What are good sides for tamales?

While you can totally eat the tamales without sides there are many great side options such as:

Tamales de rajas con pollo are one of my favorite mexican foods ever. Tamales are often made during the holidays such as Day of the Dead and Christmas.

Whenever I buy tamales these are the ones I buy.

But at home I always make pork tamales.

I guess I really like the way I make my pork tamales.

I guess it also has to do to with the fact that I tried making tamales de rajas con pollo a long time ago but it didn’t turn out so well.

However that was my fault.

You see the rajas have to be sauteed until soft before putting them in the tamales.

But I didn’t do that.

I thought the steam would make them soft.

Instead they came out still crunchy.

So I was pretty upset about that and didn’t attempt to make them again until recently.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many batches of barely edible tamales I’ve made in the past.

But that’s ok because all that practice and experience has gone to good use.

Now my tamales are freaking amazing!

I’m the type of person that will continue to make something until it finally comes out right.

I ain’t no quitter that’s for sure!

Making mistakes in the kitchen is ok because that’s how you learn.

That’s how I learned.

And it totally paid off.

Just look.

My mouth waters just looking at these tamales.

tamales filled chicken and delicious strips of onion, jalapenos and tomatoes

What salsa to serve with tamales?

You can serve the salsa of your choice. Here are some options

What to drink with tamales?

Atoles are commonly served with tamales. Here are some you should try:

These tamales are so ridiculously good. I really hope you will try out this recipe. I’m sure you will love it! Let me know if you do.

Until next time see you soon and thanks for visiting! 🙂

tamales de rajas con pollo
5 from 3 votes

Tamales de Rajas con Pollo

These delicious tamales are very popular during the holidays!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 35 tamales
Calories 199 kcal
Author Carissa


For the meat

  • 5 1/2 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1 white onion quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 gallon of water

For the rajas(strips)

  • 1 white onion chopped into strips
  • 9 jalapeños chopped into strips
  • 7 roma tomatoes chopped into strips
  • 1 tablespoon of lard

For the masa

  • 4 cups maseca for tamales
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 cups of lard
  • corn husks

For the salsa verde

  • 7 tomatillos
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 4 cups water
  • salt to taste


For the meat

  1. Combine chicken, onion, cilantro, garlic cloves, bay leaves, salt and water in a large stock pot.
  2. Bring to a boil then turn heat to low and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove chicken from pot and when cool shred with your finger or fork.
  4. Let the chicken broth cool and then strain. Reserve broth.

For the rajas

  1. Heat up 1 tablespoon of lard in a pan or skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once hot add the onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Then add the jalapeño and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the tomatoes. Cover pan and let simmer until onion and jalapeños are soft.About 10 min.
  6. When done add the rajas to the shredded chicken and mix well.

For the masa

  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water for 1 hour
  2. In a large bowl add the Maseca, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Add the broth to the maseca and mix well. Make sure the masa is moist. If there are still dry clumps add more broth.
  4. In another bowl beat the lard with a mixer until it is fluffy. This should take a few minutes.
  5. Add the masa to the lard and continue to beat for a few more minutes.

Assembling the tamales

  1. Spread a heaping tbsp of masa over the corn husks.
  2. Add a small amount of the chicken and rajas to the masa.
  3. Fold each side of the husk and then fold the bottom part of the husk up.
  4. Fill the steamer with water then put the steamer insert in and add the tamales standing up.
  5. Bring the water in the steamer to a boil and lower it to medium low.
  6. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

salsa verde

  1. bring tomatillos, jalapeños, and water to a boil over medium high heat. Lower heat to medium low and cook until tomatillos are softened.About 10 min.
  2. Transfer the tomatillos, jalapenos,cilantro, garlic, and onion to a blender. Blend for a couple of minutes or until everything is nicely blended.
  3. If you need to you can ad a little bit of water to the blender to get it blending.
Nutrition Facts
Tamales de Rajas con Pollo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 199 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 603mg26%
Potassium 285mg8%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 11.1mg13%
Calcium 52mg5%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
tamales de rajas con pollo are perfect for the upcoming holidays such as dia de los muertos, christmas and new years!
pork tamales
Recipe Rating

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Thursday 24th of December 2020

I forgot to purchase lard and it’s Christmas Eve!! If I substitute vegetable oil do you think the recipe will still work? I know the solid fat is structurally important but maybe using the chicken fat with it will help? Ugh!! Im trying so hard to not go back to the store!


Friday 25th of December 2020

I've honestly never made tamales with anything other than lard so I can't say how they will turn out. However my husband just told me he has used vegetable oil and they were fine but did not have the same flavor. Please let me know what you decide to do and how your tamales turn out.


Saturday 15th of December 2018

The recipe for Tamales de rajas con Pollo was absolutely delicious!! This was the first time I ever made Tamales... I have always bought Tamales because it seemed hard to make. I substituted whole chicken drumsticks in each Tamale and added the rajas directly on to the mass before folding the corn husks!! My husband enjoyed this delicious tamales for dinner!! Thank you so much for your detailed recipe & for teaching me how to make my own Tamales!! D kainani Porter


Thursday 27th of December 2018

You're very welcome!!'m so glad you all enjoyed them!

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