We eat a lot of chicken in our house. Grilled, baked, shredded... we like it all ways. However, as the chief "chef" of the family, I often get stuck in a rut either just grilling the chicken or combining it with a cream-of-something soup and noodles. We needed something different. We needed excitement! That's when this Chicken Tamale Casserole came to the rescue.
I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to chicken dishes for inspiration. I rarely follow a recipe exactly and almost always have to make to make substitutions or adjustments to spices. Not too long ago, I ran across a spicy chicken recipe and knew I needed to attempt it. So, attempt it I did... with a few tweaks. And, boy oh boy, was it ever good!
This casserole packs a punch! You can add more heat to it if that's what your family likes. We've got some people with "delicate" taste buds in our house, so I try to keep things a little more on the mild side.
Chicken Tamale Casserole (adapted from Pinch of Yum)
1 (8 1/2 oz.) box corn muffin mix (Jiffy)
1 (14 3/4 oz.) can Cream Style Corn
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles (drained)
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning, divided
1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper (optional)
1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Combine the first several ingredients (muffin mix through Cayenne pepper- using only 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning) and stir until all ingredients are moistened. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown and almost set. In separate bowl, toss shredded chicken with remaining taco seasoning; set aside. Remove corn bread from oven and pierce liberally all over with fork. Pour entire can of enchilada sauce over the surface. Top with coated chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with chopped avocados and sour cream.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to spice up your chicken repertoire with this delicious casserole? How about putting it on your Cinco de Mayo menu? You could pair it with some Homestyle Salsa and chips and a Mexican Fruit Salad for a complete food fiesta!
Now, I'll be honest. I've never actually tamales before. I used to work with a guy whose family would make big batches of them every Christmas. After hearing that they used the bathtub for part of the process, I kinda lost interest in ever making them myself. Honestly, whenever I eat tamales, I can't help but wonder if they too have been made in a bathtub... which then makes me wonder if I should even be eating them. Well, since discovering that I can get the same tamale taste in casserole form, I no longer have to worry... and I guess I can put off cleaning the bathtub too. ;-)
I have to ask, have you ever made tamales before? If so, was a bathtub used in the process?
Need more Cinco de Mayo inspiration?