Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Skillet Tamale Pie

 If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that I love skillet meals or other one pot meals. If I can throw everything into a skillet and have a meal, I am so very happy. And if said meal is delicious and my husband likes it, I'm ecstatic! And if this wonderful recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated, "The Best Chicken Recipes", that I found last week while shopping at TJ Max for $8.00!!!, then I'm almost ready to do cartwheels. Almost. Good food and good bargains cause me to get excited.
This recipe calls for ground chicken, and I didn't have any, nor did I have ground turkey. But I had a pound of chicken breasts in the fridge, so I figured I'd make it work. I diced the chicken into small pieces. And the recipe said you could use a cornbread mix for the topping. I did as I was lazy in a hurry. I made some minor changes. I used Monterrey Jack cheese, instead of cheddar. I used a bit less garlic, and I added about 3/4 cup of frozen corn that was hanging out in the fridge. I'm adding this to my favorites list as it's easy to prepare, tastes great and it's a perfect week night meal.This is a mild tasting meal so if you like your Mexican style meals spicier, you'll need to add some more heat. We thought it was just spicy enough for the two of us. And the fresh cilantro is really a flavor booster, so try not to leave it out (unless you hate cilantro, that is). I hope you'll give this Skillet Tamale Pie a try. I think you'll love it.
Skillet Tamale Pie
slightly adapted from "The Best Chicken Recipes" form Cook's Illustrated
The recipe calls for ground chicken, but you can substitute ground turkey or lean ground beef.
Serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed - recipe calls for 3
1 pound ground chicken- I used breasts that I sliced thin and then diced
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup frozen corn -my addition
4 ounces, 1 cup, shredded Monterrey Jack cheese - recipe calls for cheddar
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 (6.5 ounce - 8.5 ounce) package of cornbread mix, made according to package directions - I used Betty Crocker. If you would rather use a homemade topping, I'll include the recipe below. 

1. Place your oven rack in the middle position in your oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Heat the oil in a 12 inch oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add onion, chili powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic; cook 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the chicken and cook until half done at least and then add black beans and tomatoes to the pan. Stir until the meat is no longer pink.. Stir in the corn.
4. Mix corn bread batter to package directions.
5. To the skillet add the cheese and cilantro and mix until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dollop the cornbread batter over the the filling and spread into an even layer. Bake until the cornbread is baked through, about 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Cornbread Topping
3/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 tea. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk3 tablespoons melted butter.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl
In another bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the melted butter. Spoon over the top of the Tamale Pie and bake as directed above. I have not tried this cornbread topping yet, but this is the topping that was included with Cooks recipe.


  1. I also love skillet meals. Easy clean up as far as I am concerned!!!! Love this dish....

  2. This sounds really good, and you sound like me making changes to recipe so it will work for you! Love those skillet meals too!

  3. One of my favorite kinds of dishes. There is a time for Beef Bourg. and a time for fast and easy. Love it!

  4. Love one-pot meals and I do have ground chicken and am scouring the ingredient list.

  5. Lynda, you did a great adaptation and you may it work beautifully! One pot meals rock.

  6. This looks so delicious, Lynda. I agree with you, one pot meals are great and usually a real time saver.

  7. This meal sounds excellent. My hubby loves tamales so I will have to try this out on him! Thanks for sharing!

  8. One pot meals are the best - this looks delicious.

  9. What a nice and hearty savory dish to warm us up in this cool weather.

  10. i am a great believer in one-pot cooking - i really like this idea of chicken, bread and vegetables cooked altogether; this kind of dish is also very tempting because i know how good it will taste in my wood fired oven...

  11. I made a pot pie with a cornbread crust a couple of weeks ago, and it was fantastic!

  12. this is my favorite of all savory pies, no question. the zip, the topping, the add-ins, the flavors, it's all magnificent!

  13. One pot meals rock!!! this sounds delicious and so full of flavor!

  14. I like one pot meal too! This looks really tasty and flavourful!


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