Open-Faced Hatch Valley Chicken Polenta "Tamales"

Open-Faced Hatch Valley Chicken Polenta


  • 8 dried cornhusks plus strips of husk for ties, soaked in hot water at least one hour
  • 16 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
  • 1 cup medium stoneground polenta/grits
  • 1 light sprinkle of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Crema Mexicana or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2/3 cup 505 Southwestern®️ Chunky Green Chile Salsa
  • 3 tablespoons 505 Southwestern®️ Flame Roasted Green Chile
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (home cooked/roasted, instapot, or rotisserie)
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 jar (15 oz) 505 Southwestern®️ Green Chile Queso Blanco, warmed
  • Avocado, Lime Wedges and Fresh Cilantro for serving

Order Ingredients

505 Southwestern Flame Roasted Green Chile
505 Southwestern®
Flame Roasted Green Chile
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505 Southwestern® Chunky Green Chile Salsa
505 Southwestern® Chunky Green Chile Salsa
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505 Southwestern® Green Chile Queso Blanco
505 Southwestern® Green Chile Queso Blanco
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Serves 4

This clever play on a homemade tamale--aptly named the "Polentamale"--took home first place in the 505 Day Recipe Contest! The award-winning dish uses creamy polenta instead of masa and could not be any tastier!

  • Keep husks and strips moist and warm.
  • In 3 quart heavy pot over high heat, bring broth, water, and salt to a boil. Sprinkle in the polenta while stirring. When it starts to bubble, stir in garlic and white pepper, reduce heat to very low and cook about 10 minutes, covering loosely, and stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, stir in butter, crema, and cotija cheese. Cover and let stand while preparing the chicken mixture, at least 10 more minutes.
  • In sauté pan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and onion. Sauté until translucent. Stir in the salsa, green chiles, chicken, and corn, mixing well. Cook about one minute, until bubbly and hot. Taste and add a bit of salt if needed.
  • To serve, divide the polenta among 8 husks, in mounds towards the upper center of the wide side (top) of each husk. Make a well in center of each and spoon the chicken mixture equally into the wells. Twist the small (bottom) end and tie with a strip of husk, leaving the center and other end open, like a fan. Drizzle about 3 generous tablespoons of the warm queso over the chicken mixture on each. Garnish with avocado, cilantro and serve with lime if desired.