Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chicken Tamale Casserole

Life is good! I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I brought my laptop and worked from the beach on Monday and Tuesday.  It was torture! The past two days, however, were spent on the beach - sunning, reading, and relaxing! There were a few rainstorms, mostly in the afternoons or overnight, but we were rewarded with a rainbow over the ocean (I should call it the "shore" though since we're in Jersey).  On Tuesday, we went to Customer Appreciation Night at Giamanos - almost everything on the menu was 50% off.  Our meal was accompanied with live, acoustic blues music.  The atmosphere and food were both fantastic.  Neither KK nor my dad had leftovers, and my small takehome container was consumed by KK for lunch on Wednesday.  Instead of ordering typical tiramisu (which wasn't half-off for some reason!), we stopped for ice cream at Beach Plum Ice Cream Parlor.  I had birthday cake ice cream with actual pieces of cake in the ice cream - amazing!

Remember that limited kitchen I mentioned the other day? It's so limited that we had to buy a 9x13 pan for this dish! If you have rotisserie chicken one night, you might think about using the leftover chicken for this dish.  Since I was unfamiliar with the oven, I erred on the side of caution, and only cooked the first layer of cornbread for ~10 minutes.  I should've let it cook longer because the casserole crust ended up being a bit dense.  Don't be afraid to leave it for the full 15 minutes! Nevertheless, KK and my dad made sure there were zero leftovers, so this meal definitely counts as a success! We paired this Mexican dish with one of our family favorites - a 2006 Claraval Garnacha.

Chicken Tamale Casserole
Adapted from myrecipes.com
Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6
2 cups chicken breast
Cooking spray
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
15 oz. can cream-style corn
8.5 oz. box corn muffin mix
4 oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
10 oz. can enchilada sauce
Sour cream, for topping
Salsa, for topping

1. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Cook chicken thoroughly.  Remove from skillet and plate; cool slightly.  Shred chicken using two forks.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.  Coat 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

3. Combine 1/4 cup cheese, milk, egg subsitute, cumin, red pepper flakes, canned corn, muffin mix, and chiles in a large bowl.  Stir until just moist.  Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and cook for 15 minutes, or until set.

4. Pierce cornbread surface liberally with a fork; cover with enchilada sauce.  Top dish with shredded chicken, and sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup cheese.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese melts.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  If desired, top with sour cream and salsa.

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