Boil a chicken in just enough water to cover until very tender.
Salt while cooking.
When done, pull from bones and chop fine or grind.
Open one dozen chili peppers, remove seeds, cover with boiling water, cook until very tender and soft.
Put through sieve to remove skin.
Into a frying pan put three tablespoons of cooking oil or butter.
Add two medium onions chopped fine, cook until brown, add chili pulp, add half cup of the chicken water, simmer for twenty minutes, keep covered.
Into a bowl put one quart of corn meal, pour over sufficient water in which chicken was boiled to make a stiff dough.
Mix well, add salt, if necessary.
Have ready corn husks, large ones, washed and trimmed, and dipped in hot water to make soft.
Mix with the chicken the chili paste.
On a broad husk, place a portion of the corn meal, making a kind of layer.
In the center, the entire length, put a portion of the chicken, roll up the husks, the meal should entirely cover the meat; fold over the ends of the husk, tie up well.
Continue until all are made.
Return the bones of chicken to the remaining chicken water; place tamales in and boil one hour.
Cover while cooking; serve hot.
Beef or veal may be used.
Red peppers cooked and sufficient hot pepper to season may be used if the chili cannot be obtained.
Southern Cooking Grosset & Dunlap New York Submitted by John Hartman Indianapolis, IN 1996 : hartman@indy.