Put the chicken, bay leaves, onion, peppercorns, cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and lime juice in a pot. Cover with the stock and bring just to a boil on high heat. Skim the stock.
Turn heat to medium low. Simmer the chicken for an hour or until meat starts falling off the bone.
Remove the chicken from the stock. Cut it off the bone and chop it into small pieces. Set aside.
Strain the vegetables and reserve the stock.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Sweat the onion, garlic, and chile. Sauté about 4 minutes until soft but not browned.
Add the tomato paste.
Slowly add 1 cup of the reserved stock a bit at a time. Stir and simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Add tomatoes, olives, prunes, oregano and the orange juice. Continue to simmer sauce for a few more minutes until it is heated through.
Add the herbs and ½ teaspoon salt.
Cream the shortening in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Add masa harina flour, salt, cornmeal and baking powder. Mix until dough resembles coarse meal.
Begin adding reserved broth ½ cup at a time until dough is smooth and slightly moist. Cover and set aside.
Rinse off 26 dried corn husks. Cover in hot water and soak overnight.
Tear one or two of the cornhusks into 48 string like strands. Alternately, use kitchen twine cut into 8 inch lengths.
Divide dough into 6 equal parts. Divide each of these parts into quarters for 24 portions.
Open out a cornhusk lengthwise. In the centre of the cornhusk spread one portion of dough into an oval shape about 1/2 inch thick.
Mound a teaspoon of chicken on the centre of the dough. Pour a 1/2-teaspoon of the sauce over the chicken.
Using the cornhusk to guide, fold the lower edge of dough up and over half the chicken. Fold top edge of dough down to cover the bottom. You will now have a little sausage roll shape.
Pull the husk around the dough to make an elongated cornhusk parcel. Using a piece of cornhusk or string, tie each end.
Alternately, divide each of the 6 pieces of dough into two for 12 portions.
Pat one portion into a round flat shape. Make a well down the middle.
Add the chicken and some sauce. Pat another portion of dough on top. Seal the edges.
Roll it into a sausage shape and pace it in the cornhusk. Pull the husk around the dough to make an elongated cornhusk parcel. Using a piece of cornhusk or string, tie each end.
Place a bamboo steamer over boiling water. Put tamales in the steamer. Cover with a lid and steam for about 2 hours. Check periodically to make sure the pot still has water.