I love it when I find a new recipe for chicken. Chicken breasts are often on sale, white meat is low in fat, the kids like it, and I can keep large quantities in the freezer to use with pantry staples. This recipe is a perfect fit for us. It was easy, inexpensive, low in fat, used pantry staples, and it was very tasty.
I really enjoy chicken tamales, so the recipe name caught my eye when I saw it at myrecipes.com. With a few changes, it was pretty close to the flavors of the tamales I get in a local Mexican restaurant. The original recipe called for a box of corn muffin mix, but, frankly, I find those too sweet to use for a tamale-like corn bread, so I made my own "mix." I doubled the sauce because I like a nice saucy tamale, but if you prefer less sauce, don't use the second can over the top of the chicken. I used Old El Paso enchilada sauce for convenience, but it was pretty spicy and I might make my own next time (recipe found below).
Chicken Tamale Casserole
1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 c. milk
1 t. cumin
1/8 t. ground red pepper
14 oz can creamed corn
2/3 c. Bisquick
3/4 c. masa harina (substitute plain corn meal if you don't have masa on hand)
4 oz can green chiles, drained
(2) 10 oz cans enchilada sauce (recipe for homemade below)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded (equivalent -- about 3 cups chicken)
1/2 c. low-fat sour cream for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (If you are poaching your chicken breasts, start them now.)
Combine 1/4 c. cheese, milk, egg, cumin, red pepper, creamed corn, bisquick, masa harina, and chiles in a large bowl, stirring until moist. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray and spread corn bread mixture to the edges. Bake for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, poach chicken and shred.
When cornbread is baked, remove from oven and pierce entire surface with a fork. Pour one can of enchilada sauce over the top. Top with chicken, then other can enchilada sauce (omit second can if you want a less-saucy casserole). Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream.
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder
Heat oil in large 2-quart saucepan; stir in flour and chili powder; cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.