Tamales and Chipotle Chicken Chile

Chipotle chicken Chili

We have quite a few Christmas dinner traditions, but Tamales and Chipotle Chicken is not one of them. In any event, we decided to serve tamales on December 23, because everyone has a hectic schedule and a variety of eating disorders. “Great” tamales are almost impossible to find in the northeast and now quite difficult to find in Texas unless you shop regularly at a Mexican grocery store.

The problem with most tamales is that they are far too dry: long on masa, but short on road-kill. (Editor’s Note: “Bogey Pinson” is partial to jack-rabbit, while I prefer armadillo. Langston tells me that turkey buzzard is to die for! I’ll take his word for it. For those seeking something more conventional for their tamale filing, Perdue recommends leftovers that McDonalds doesn’t consider edible for chicken McNuggets.)

In any event, I picked up three varieties of “homemade” tamales from Trader Joe’s: chicken, pork and vegetarian. Since I must assume that they will be too dry, I have decided to serve them with a variation of The Pioneer Woman’s Chipotle Chicken Chili. Basically, we eliminated the beans and cutback on the Chipotle since it would likely be a bit too spicy for sweet Corinne. Found below is this modified version, but for those who want something that looks like the photograph above, CLICK HERE!

Chipotle Chicken Chili sans Beans


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into A Large Dice
  • 1 bottle (12 Ounce Bottle) Good Beer
  • 1 can (14 Oz. Size) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Minced (recipe calls for 3)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste (2 Tbs minimum)
  • 1/4 cup Masa Harina
  • 1 Lime, Juiced
  • Sour Cream, For Serving
  • Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese, For Serving
  • Cilantro, For Serving
  • Lime Wedges For Serving

Preparation Instructions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat then add the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until onions soften. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Add 3/4 of the beer, reserving the rest, then cook for a couple of minutes to reduce.

Add the tomatoes, chipotles, beans, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to combine, then cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.

Combine the masa harina with the rest of the beer and stir to make a paste. Add this into the chili, along with the lime juice. Stir and cook for 10 more minutes or until thick.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and another squeeze of lime!

Enjoy! – The Grinch certainly will.


Donuts, Kolache and Tamales for Thanksgiving

I was somewhat apprehensive about leaving my Connecticut roost to spend Thanksgiving in Texas.  Therefore, I am pleased to report that I thoroughly enjoyed myself despite the unusual surroundings.  In fact, I didn’t even need my ear-piece as the decibel level of 10 kids running around having fun was more than  adequate for my diminished hearing. Watching kids have a great time is far more important than understanding what they have to say.  The same could probably be said for adults.

Granted, I was not served my customary lapsang souchong tea at 4 p.m., but by then my Texas relatives were already well into cocktails and wine – a delightful Texas tradition that begins shortly after breakfast. Texans are convinced that a touch of moonshine is far better than prescription medication now “freely” available to the uninsured under ObamaCare. For those who have lost their insurance policies under Big Brother’s comprehensive health coverage, this probably comes as a welcome relief.

Contrary to the widespread propaganda found in the liberal media, Texans can read. At least they read Gourmay, which is an indication of a well-educated palate but probably not much more.  I was surprised to find that we were served an organic turkey that had been properly brined using Gourmay’s dry-rub brine.   In fact, my “good” relatives had mobilized themselves to serve  Turkey Soup ala Thérèse with two cups of barley.  For that, I am most appreciative.  Kudos to all those who contributed to making this Thanksgiving so memorable and, in particular to “Taleggio” Langston and Mere “the Bear” for allowing their delightful home on the banks of the San Bernard River to be trashed by relatives.    Also, a special thanks to Sommelier “Bogey” Pinson for his great wine pairings and the smoked ham for those who were not up to eating Big Bird.

As the late great news commentator Paul Harvey (heard above in a memorable tribute to farmers) would say: “And now, page 2”.

PAGE 2 – the Real Story

“Pit Bull” Broderick always has Chinese carryout before Thanksgiving.   Mind you, I think this is a nouveau “Queens” (New York) tradition which emerged after the Irish mob was forced to leave because they couldn’t afford real estate prices near Manhattan and were replaced by the Chinese Triads.   (Editor’s Note:  Pit Bull, a fringe member of the Irish mob, was allowed to retain his Queen’s citizenship in recognition of the number of   “American” jobs he has outsourced to the Philippines.)   As we soon discovered, the Texans have their own international culinary traditions for the Day After Thanksgiving:

  • German Donuts,
  • Czech and Slovak Kolache’s and,
  • Mexican tamales.

D&S DonutsWhile those that had been over-served the previous evening were sleeping, some of the men folk and Thérèse decided to  “rustle up some grub” for breakfast.   (Editor’s note:  “Rustle up some grub” is Texas talk when real men actually went out and shot a rabbit or rattlesnake for breakfast.   Today – like most Americans – Texans go to McDonald’s and Dunkin Donut for breakfast but usually leave their fully loaded AR-15s  with a high-capacity magazine in the truck.)    Fortunately, our Gourmet Cowboys shop differently since there are few fast-food chains in Brazoria, TX.   “Rag Arm” Colby suggested D&S Donuts which he claims are “the best donuts in the United States.”  At the low price of $5.50 per dozen he just might be right.   They also serve a pretty mean Kolache, which is basically a Polish sausage served in a sweet yeast bread.   For just $1.09, the Kolache with cheese and jalapenos was impossible to resist.  It was delicious and served as a most useful  appetizer before we mosied over to nearby Mary’s Mexican Cafe for a  serious breakfast.

Mary's Mexican CafeNow, I will spare Gourmay readers with the gruesome details of the number of chorizo and egg  and carne guisada tacos that were consumed, but I did insist that we take home a dozen tamales that were still warm.   Now Mary’s Mexican Cafe is only open from 5 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. so you better get there early if you want to enjoy some truly authentic Mexican cooking.  My burrito was delicious, but the dozen tamales were consumed well before most of the sleeping beauties had discovered the D&S chocolate and glazed donuts (60 plus a few extras for those with a severe sugar craving).   I think that there was consensus among connoisseurs of Mexican cooking  that these were among the best tamales (pork) that any of us had ever eaten.  In fact, I could kick myself for not buying another dozen or so before leaving the next day.  Nevertheless, I didn’t feel like sharing them with the TSA agents as we checked in through security at the Houston airport.

All-in-all a great Thanksgiving was had by all and plans are afoot to hold a similar uprising in Charleston, SC in a couple of years.   Three cheers for the Turners:   Belch, belch, belch!!!  (Editor’s Note:  A belch is a Chinese way of saying that we enjoyed the food and the company.)



Christmas Food Logistics Update

I am pleased to provide a brief status report for the upcoming Gourmay Christmas festivities:

  1. 20 beautiful grapefruits from Pittman & Davis in Harlingen, TX have arrived at the Gourmay Command Center.  Gourmay fans applaud the generosity and good taste of Trish “The Dish”.  These tree-ripened grapefruits are in everyway superior to anything from the State of Florida.  Texas certainly has bragging rights when it comes to grapefruit.
  2. Wines from the Hartford Family Winery in Forrestville (Sonoma), CA have arrived and are now under lock-and-key.   A contribution from David “Bogey” Pinson, we have the good fortune to look forward to the following wines:  A 2007 Four Hearts Chardonnay, a 2006 Hailey’s Block Pinot Noir and a 2006 Sevens Bench Vineyard Pinot Noir.  A toast to “Bogey” Pinson.
  3. The Grinch had reported earlier that the Meacham Ham had arrived together with 3lbs of bacon.  We anticipate the arrival of Benton’s bacon by the 20th of the month.
  4. I have received reliable information, that Bogey P. will be travelling with 36 hand-made tamales.   A dozen tamales each of roast pork, chicken with tomatillos and spicy chuck roast will be a most welcome addition to the festivities.  The Therese has suggested pairing the tamales with white chili (the leading vote-getter in the soup contest).  The Grinch concurs.
  5. Abigail “Drama Queen” May has Christmas Eve well in hand with her Breton style smoked salmon crepes
  6. And finally, Dan “Pit Bull” Broderick will treat the arriving guests on the 23rd of December with Jamie Oliver’s slow roasted (over-night) pork paired with Jamie’s fabulous Red Cabbage creation (also a finalist in the vegetable category).

Next week, the Christmas dinner entree will be announced (could it be roast beast?) together with the finalists in the remaining categories.  The Grinch is pleased to report that the Therese stress level is now only at 20 (the lowest stress rating over the last 10 Christmas seasons).  As we all know, a stress level above 50 makes for a very testy Therese.   Many thanks for your contributions to the Gourmay blog and the dinner preparations this year.  We are so looking forward to your presence.