Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tamale pie, chicken version

Have you ever heard of a tiara desserts pan? If you're old like me you might remember them from the 80's. Its an awesome pan that Duncan Hines put out to go with their boxed dessert called Tiara Desserts. Its like a tart pan with a sunken part in the center, to hold a filling. They were uber cool for about a year, then fell out of vogue. I convinced my mom to buy one of the pans back in the day and when I moved out I took it with me :) She didn't even notice!

I've been making a variation of this dish for more than 20 years now. It all started with that tiara desserts pan. I baked a corn bread in the pan and filled the divot on top with taco meat & toppings, voila! Easy Mexican style dinner with minimal fuss.

Since the first time I made this dish I've been working on improving and changing it. Back in the day when I was a teen, I used a Jify cornbread mix. Now I make my own cornbread, accented with spices and roasted corn. Its a definite improvement over the boxed cornbread mix in this Witches' opinion. I've used ground beef or chicken for the meat topping, both are delicious so feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

Lastly, if you don't have a tiara desserts pan, don't fret. You can get a knock off from King Arthur Flour here or you can simply make this in an 8x8 pan. Sure it won't be as pretty but it'll taste good. And that's all that really matters, right?

Tamale Pie, chicken version
serves 6

Tamale cornbread
2 ears corn, roasted and cut off cob
1/2 c corn meal
3/4 c flour
1 t baking powder (aluminum free if you can find it)
1 t kosher salt
1/4 c butter, melted
1 egg
1/2c + 1T milk
1 t each chili powder, granulated garlic (1 clove fresh minced works too) and cumin
dash cayenne pepper, black pepper

Chicken mixture
2 chicken breasts ground coarsely (1 lb approx)
1.5 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t kosher salt
1/8 t pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
1 can whole tomatoes, drained
2 jalapenos, seeded
1/4 onion
juice of 1 small lime

1 can beans, black, pinto or kidney all are fine

Toppings, all optional:
shredded cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, green onions, black olives, guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa

Roast the corn first. Shuck corn and put under the broiler of your oven with a rack at the highest position in the oven. Broil until the kernels start to brown, rotate corn until all sides are browned. Remove from oven & allow to cool slightly before slicing off the cob. Slice corn off the cob & set aside.

Make the cornbread:
Mix the dry ingredients together, including spices. Mix the wet ingredients together and whisk well to mix the egg. Pour wet over the dry, fold about 10 times until its ALMOST smooth & incorporated. Add the roasted corn then finish mixing. It won't be completely smooth, that's ok. Pour cornbread mix into a greased pan and bake at 350 for 15 min or until it tests clean in the center.

Make the sauce for the chicken next:
(While the cornbread is baking) In a blender put the canned tomatoes, jalapenos (I cut them into hunks), garlic, onion and spices. Blend until desired consistency (I made mine very smooth so the Little Witch would eat it, too).

Cook the chicken in a non reactive skillet until its 75% done. Add the sauce to the chicken, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook about 15 minutes, or until sauce has reduced by about half and chicken is cooked through.

Puree the beans in your food processor and puree until smooth. Add a touch of salt if desired.

Turn the cornbread out onto a plate (if using a fancy Tiara desserts pan, if using an 8x8 pan skip this step)

Spread beans in center.

Top beans with chicken mixture

Top chicken with cheese & desired toppings. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople Recipe Calculator
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 349.6
Total Fat 15.2 g
Saturated Fat 8.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 86.8 mg
Sodium 723.1 mg
Potassium 452.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.4 g
Sugars 3.3 g
Protein 17.3 g


Michelle said...

Sounds delicious!

StephenC said...

I wonder if there is a way to make this with corn tortillas plus the roasted corn. Maybe chop the tortillas in food processor, mix in corn and wet stuff and bake? Hmmm, I'm getting ideas - always a dangerous thing.

Yours looks like a lovely recipe.

Jenn said...

I hate to repeat what Michelle said..but this sounds delicious! After seeing the tiara desserts pan, I so remember them! Wow.. talk about a blast from the past. A friend of mine's mom had one! She actually made sort of the same thing you did with the corn bread and meat on top! It was wonderful, except she put beans in it and at the time I HATED beans! The corn looks wonderful too! Grilling corn is the best way to prepare it!

George said...

I'm gonna try making this!!

Raina said...

OMG..this looks and sounds incredible. Love Mexican food..great recipe. Thanks for sharing it. I love those tried and true recipes that someone has been making for years. Those are the ones you know are good.

I have never seen this pan and I am I wish I had one:)

Ann Minard said...

oooh, I love this idea! I have one of these that I got at Goodwill and was wondering what to use it for!

Queen of the House said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog at 2 Make Ends Meet! You have so many fabulous recipes on here! :) Yum! I can't wait to try some of them! :)

Design Wine and Dine said...

I love the pan story, that is so cool! We're making a dinner similar to this tonight, a very scaled down version (this looks ways better) but I just love all the flavors! Nice corn too!

Siri said...

This looks incredible! Oh how I've missed looking at your blog : )

Neo-Homesteading said...

this looks so great, I think I might have to try this!

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