When it comes to making the ultimate chicken tamale pie, you gotta add a cheesy cornbread topper! Comforting, savory, with crusty edges. YUM! Garnish with all your fiesta favs and you’ve got yourself a marvelous meal.
Growing up in California, Mexican food was pretty much always on the table. Whether it be these Green and Red Enchiladas with my Homemade Spanish Rice, waking up to Chilaquiles for breakfast (my favorite!), or our take on Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizzas. They’re all so yummy.
When we’d ventured out, our go-to restaurant was called Porfi’s off of Cherokee Lane in Lodi (sadly, they closed in 2017 after 31 years in business). My best friend’s dad would step into the kitchen from time to time and even taught me how to make their Authentic Salsa. I have so many fond memories there… all us “Lodi kids” do. Oh, and we’d always order a side of sour cream with our chips as an appetizer. Might sound weird, but it was soooooo good. Now that I’m older, I’ve ventured into my own “Mexican Fusion” cooking. I’ll be sure to link some more recipes below!
INGREDIENTS FOR THIS RECIPE:
While I personally prefer chicken thighs for their depth of flavor, you could certainly swap them out for breasts. Same goes with the green bell pepper… go ahead and use red, yellow, or orange if that’s what you have on hand.
- Springer Mountain Farms Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Olive Oil
- Yellow Onion
- Green Bell Pepper
- Garlic Cloves
- Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- Tomato Sauce
- Chili Powder, divided
- Cumin, divided
- Salt + Black Pepper
- Jiffy Cornbread Mix
- Sharp Cheddar
Per the usual, my recipes are totally customizable. While we like the green chilies with the tomatoes, if you’re sensitive to heat you can replace them with a can of plain diced tomatoes. I make my own “enchilada-type” sauce by adding the chili powder and cumin… but if you want to use actual enchilada sauce in place of the tomato sauce… go for it! Let me know what your favorite alternatives are in the comments!
WHAT IS CHICKEN TAMALE PIE?
I’d say this is an easier-to-make version of a traditional tamale. Deconstructed, if you will… but with all the same flavors. I like to serve mine with all the usual suspects: Avocado, cilantro, fresh jalapeños, minced onion, sour cream. Load on the toppings. Oh, and hot sauce. Can’t forget the spicy goodness in my house.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
- 6 Chicken Thighs (about 1.5 lbs.)
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp. Chili Powder, divided
- 2 tsp. Cumin, divided
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion, sliced thin
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- 8 oz. Canned Tomato Sauce
- 1 package Jiffy Cornbread Mix
- 1 Egg
- ⅓ cup Milk
- ½ cup Frozen Corn
- 8 oz. Shredded Sharp Cheddar, divided
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 1 tablespoon cumin. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature has reached 165F. Shred with two forks and set aside.
- Add olive oil to a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and bell pepper until softened, about 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes with green chilies, tomato sauce, and season with the remaining chili powder, cumin, and bring to a low simmer. Carefully fold the shredded chicken into the sauce, turn off the heat, and set aside.
- Turn the oven down to 375F. Whisk together the cornbread mix, egg, milk, corn, and half of the sharp cheddar in a large bowl. Sprinkle the saucy chicken with the remaining cheddar and then evenly spread the cornbread mix on top of the skillet over the filling.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the cornbread has set.
- Remove the tamale pie from the oven and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
NOTES ON THIS RECIPE:
- You can cook the chicken up to a day in advance if you don’t have the time to bake it the day of. Bake, shred, and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- As mentioned above, my suggested garnishes / toppings include avocado slices, sour cream, chopped cilantro, fresh sliced jalapeños, hot sauce, and tortilla chips.
- Store any tamale pie leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, and enjoy within 2 days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
This post is sponsored in partnership with Springer Mountain Farms. Per the usual, all opinions here are mine alone and I would never recommend a product or ingredient that I did not immensely enjoy myself. Thank you for supporting the brands that support SliceOfJess.com!