Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tamale Chicken Casserole

I found this recipe for Chicken Tamale Pie on Pinch of Yum. And it looked really, really good. But small problem, about 8 of the 10 ingredients are not locally available here in Paraguay. So this is my adaptation. It seemed like it took half the day to make! But now I have leftover homemade enchilada sauce. If you already have chicken or use a rotisserie chicken, that will save time too. But this will tell you how to do all of those things, somewhat simultaneously. If you have a lot of the ingredients in Lindsey's original recipe, you can definitely whip it out faster. If not, I'd save it for a weekend meal and enjoy the leftovers all week!

Tamale Chicken Casserole
Inspired by Pinch of Yum
Serves 8 (or less if you have good)

What you need (ingredients):
For the enchilada sauce: I used this recipe from Alaska from Scratch. I made it exactly as specified except I can't get fresh jalepenos, so I had to use a couple out of a can. All the other ingredients were easy to find. I had a little bigger container of tomato sauce as well-and after tasting it (spicy!!) I added the extra in to tame it a bit. But here are all the ingredients, so you can add them to your shopping list a little bit easier.

For the enchilada sauce
  • 2 teaspoons neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeƱo, seeds removed and chopped (or 1-2 canned jalapenos, chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce (I used 520 grams which is more like 18 ounces. It was fine!
  • 1-2 cups water (I used 1 cup)
For the casserole: 
  • 1/3 C milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T taco seasoning (divided)
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can of corn or creamed corn. I couldn't find creamed but guess what-put it in the blender and it turns that way! I creamed about half (with a little bit of the water from the can) and left about half of the can whole. Nice mix.
  • 1 8.5 oz. box of corn muffin mix such as Jiffy. I was preparing to make this, too, and surprisingly found a box in the gluten free section. But pretty easy to find a recipe online if you don't have access to such things!
  • original recipe calls for a 4 oz. can of chopped green chilis. In my dreams. In my real life, I found some canned serrano peppers and chopped them up a bit in the blender.
  • 10 oz. of red enchilada sauce-see above. The above recipe will have leftovers too!
  • 2 shredded chicken breasts or equivalent of any chicken parts
  • grated cheese
  • sour cream and cilantro for garnish
What to do (Instructions):

  • If you don't already have cooked chicken, cook some up quick. Any kind works; I use chicken breasts because I like white meat. I grilled them up in a frying pan with some oil, salt, and pepper. When I flipped them I added a little chicken broth an covered them up, and cooked for about 6-7 more minutes. I let it cool while I started everything else, and then shredded with a fork.
  • Next, start on the enchilada sauce if you're making your own. 
  • When that's underway, mix the first 7 ingredients for the casserole (through the peppers) in a bowl until ingredients are combined. *only put 1 T of chili powder in this mixture.* Once combined, spray non-stick spray into a baking dish and evenly spread mixture in the bottom. I only had a 9 by 13 inch dish, but you could use a square dish or pie plate as well.
  • Bake at 400 degrees (205 C) for about 25 minutes, or until browned.
  • Poke lots of holes into the crust, and pour about 10 ounces of enchilada sauce on. Then mix the shredded chicken with the other tablespoon of chili powder with the chicken, and spread evenly. 
  • Top with cheese and bake for about another 15 minutes. 
  • Take it out of the oven, garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Enjoy with a green salad.

    Verdict: Delicious! Even with all the modifications, I was thrilled with how this came out!

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