Chicken Tamale Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of your favorite cornbread mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 (15 oz) can cream-style corn
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 oz canned, chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack/cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
    • I am using a rotisserie chicken to save time.
  • 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce, divided
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
    •  You can choose regular or a low salt variety
  • 3/4 (15 oz) can drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 can (10 oz) corn niblets 
    •  I used a "Mexican-style"
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • crumbled tortilla chips 
    • enough to cover the top.  I didn't measure.
  • garnish
    • chopped avocado
    • chopped tomatoes
    • fresh lime juice
    • kosher salt and black pepper
    • chopped purple onion
  • sour cream to serve it with  

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare a box of your favorite cornbread mix.  I like Jiffy, but use whatever you are comfortable with.  If that means you like to make it from scratch, do so.  But if you are making it from a box, make it according to the directions with the milk and egg called for.  Add in the yellow cheese blend, cream-style corn, cumin, and green chilies.  Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to your iron skillet and let it get really hot.  Pour in the cornbread batter.  The hot oil will help it form a crispy crust on the bottom and sides.  Then pop the skillet into the oven for about 25 minutes.

While cornbread is baking, combine shredded, cooked chicken with a cup of red enchilada sauce and the taco seasoning.  This may seem really salty, but we are balancing out the sweetness from the cornbread.

Remove cornbread from the oven and add all the toppings:  rinsed black beans, corn niblets, chicken and sauce, crumbled tortilla chips, then LOTs of mozzarella cheese.  Drizzle about another 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce over the top, then put it back into the oven for 15 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro, and a little salad of chopped tomatoes, avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper, and some purple onion.  Serve hot with a big dollop of sour cream and an extra squeeze of lime.  You must NOT forget the lime!