Thursday, June 23, 2011

Skillet Chicken Tamale Pie

I was craving a new recipe, something I had never made before... I flipped through my Healthy Test Kitchen Cookbook, and this was the recipe I landed on (mainly because I had MOST of the ingredients, and substitutes for the things I didn't have).  I made two mistakes... I had cut the recipe in half, but kept the topping the same... the ratio was off; definitely needed to keep the filling the same! Second mistake was turning the oven on to 450 degrees when its 85 degrees outside... oops.

Try it out and tell me what you think.  I will post the recipe as is, but add in my changes (minus the ratio)


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (5-6) trimmed
Salt and Pepper
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine (I subbed green bell pepper)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 (15-oz.) can hominy, drained and rinse (for those of you who don't know, this is found in the mexican aisle and really doesn't have a replacement... it's corn kernels, similar to grits... I just used frozen corn)
1 (7-oz) can chopped green chiles (I omitted)
1 ear corn, kernels removed (I used frozen)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro (I omitted)

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
3 T. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
1 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Preheat oven to 450.  Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, 6-8 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan.

2. Add the onion and poblanos to the fat in the skillet and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cok until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds.

3. Stir in the broth, hominy, chiles, and corn, and bring to a simmer.  Add the browned chicken thighs, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is tender and can be shredded easily, about 10 minutes.

4.  Remove the skillet from the heat.  Transfer the chicken to a plate, shred into bite-sized pieces when cool enough to handle, then return to the skillet.  Stir in the cheddar and cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover to keep warm while preparing the topping.

1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a lark bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.  Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until uniform, then stir in the melted butter until just combined.

2. Return the filling to a simmer over medium-high heat, then smooth into an even layer.  Off the heat, dollop the cornbread topping evenly over the filling, cover the filling completely.  Bake until the topping is golden and set, 15-20 minutes.  Let the pie cool for 10 minutes before serving.