There is nothing more comforting on a cold day than a Mexican inspired casserole. This Chicken Tamale Pie is filled with melty cheesy layers of beans, pulled chicken, and roasted chiles and tomatillos for the perfect warming dish. This week, my husband and I have been working on a puzzle at home. It’s one of those things that makes you feel very old, but you just can’t deny how exciting it is to wake up and start on the puzzle again. I’m spending a lot more time indoors, decorating our tree, simmering things on the stove, baking bread. It’s the season to relax, stay indoors, and eat casseroles.
This week, I made this Chicken Tamale Pie on a whim. There’s a version of Tamale Pie in Dorie Greenspan’s book, Everyday Dorie. But I will always opt for a chili verde over your standard red chili. My version has charred tomatillos and poblanos that are blended then simmered with spices and beans and poured over pulled chicken in the casserole. The easiest part of all is using boxed cornbread mix. I used two of the little standard jiffy boxes to make the topping, but if you want less cornbread, you can certainly use one.
Let’s get started on this recipe! First, I charred my tomatillos and poblanos. Remove the husk from the tomatillo and rinse off the sticky layer. Then lay them on a baking sheet with the peppers and broil six inches from the top of your oven for about 7 minutes. This all depends on your broiler! So watch carefully and take them out when everything has blackened nicely. Deseed the peppers, then pulse them with the tomatillos in a food processor.
Dice your onion and cilantro stems. In a dutch oven, add the olive oil and saute over medium high heat until the onions are translucent, about ten minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute more. Then add your tomatillo mixture, mild green chiles, and white beans. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cornbread mix. Set aside while you assemble the casserole. To the bottom, add your shredded chicken. Pour over the chili and smooth out. Top with the cheese. Then Pour over the cornbread mix, spreading it out in an even layer with the back of a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes until cornbread is golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving. See the full recipe below.
- 3 poblano peppers
- 1½ lb tomatillos
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz can, diced mild green chiles
- 15 oz can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
- 2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- Place an oven rack six inches from the top of the oven. Preheat the broiler to high. Remove the husks and rinse the tomatillos. Place them on a baking sheet with the poblanos and broil them six inches from the top of the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the tomatillos and poblanos are blackened.
- Dice the onion. Separate the stems and leaves of the cilantro. Finely dice the stems. Halve the poblanos and remove the seeds and stems. In a food processor or blender, pulse the tomatillos and poblanos until they're chunky, but not pureed.
- In a dutch oven or deep skillet, add the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cilantro stems and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir, cooking for one minute. Add the tomatillo mixture, mild chiles, and beans, and bring to a boil. Then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a mixing bowl, add the 2 boxes of jiffy mix, eggs, and milk. Whisk until just combined. Set aside.
- In the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, spread the pulled chicken in a layer. Pour the chili over the chicken in an even layer. Sprinkle with the cheese. Top with the cornbread mixture and spread evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, until cornbread is golden brown.
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