Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Okay, so by now you know I’m on a casserole kick in preparation for the birth of my baby girl.  Here’s another one that I love.  This chicken tamale casserole really sticks with the no pressure theme as it is easy to make, takes little prep, and is a great weeknight meal.  The inspiration for this recipe came from Cooking Light but I made some significant changes and turned it into “my own”.  I hope you enjoy my experiment!

Mexican flavors are highlighted with green chiles, cumin, and red pepper.  The tamale part of this casserole is made from a corn bread mix that soaks up and pairs well with the enchilada sauce.  Like I do for most casseroles, soups, and other dishes that call for chicken – I used a rotisserie chicken.  Seriously, always keep a rotisserie chicken on hand!

Chicken Tamale Casserole

1c pre-shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 c milk
1 egg
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 (14 ¾ oz) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5oz) box corn muffin mix
1 (4oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
cooking spray
1 (10oz) can red enchilada sauce
2c shredded cooked chicken breast
½ c sour cream
cilantro (for garnish, optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine ¼ c cheese and next 9 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist.  Pour mixture into a 13x9” baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Product plug: I prefer to use Jiffy corn bread mix.  I like how light the corn bread turns out and I also like the bit of sweetness it adds.  As for the enchilada sauce, I prefer Chi-Chi’s brand.  It tastes more authentic and less like it’s been sitting in a can for months.  But you can obviously use whatever suits you best or whatever you have on hand :)

Bake at 400F for 15 mins or until set.  Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top.  Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining ¾ c cheese.  Bake at 400F for 15 mins or until cheese melts.  Remove from oven; let stand 5 mins.  Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tbsp sour cream.

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