My husband loves tamales. My mother-in-law Anna makes them in huge batches and brings them up when she visits. It’s a whole involved process that she tried to teach me once (long ago when I was first married), but the thought of authentic cooking was a total brain overload for me back then. I found this recipe and knew I needed to give it a whirl. It starts with a rich cornbread base filled with chilies, topped with enchilada sauce, spiced chicken and cheese. If you like Mexican food, you will love this!
The bottom layer is creamy and golden,full of sweet corn and a little kick from green chilies. Like cornbread on steroids.
The saucy layer combines with gently spiced chicken and gets topped with the melty goodness of mozzarella. You could use pepper-jack or any white cheese of your choice.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Mmmmmm. Delicious too!
Chicken Tamale Bake
adapted from Pinch of Yum
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning, divided (I used my homemade version)
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5 ounce) box corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded white cheese (I used mozzarella)
cilantro and crumbled Cotija cheese for topping
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine the first 7 ingredients (milk through green chiles), using just 1/2 tablespoon of the taco seasoning, in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a round pie plate (mine was glass) coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes. While corn is baking, toss the chicken in the remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning. When corn is done – it will be just barely set and golden brown – pierce entire surface liberally with a fork (it might stick a little bit to the fork). Pour enchilada sauce over top.
Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with cilantro and Cotija cheese.