May 7, 2018

Tamales are a Mexican tradition dating back thousands of years to as early as 5000-7000 B.C. Aztec, Mayan and Incan women were taken along in battle to serve as cooks to warriors. Tamales were the solution for a portable and sustainable food. They could be made ahead and packed, then warmed when needed.

The tamale trend caught on very fast and the varieties of tamales are endless. They are made of cornmeal dough and typically filled with meat. Chicken or pork tamales made with red or green enchilada sauce are a traditional Mexican dish usually reserved for holidays or special occasions.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

This casserole will make weeknight cooking seem easy. No precooking of meat or chopping vegetables. Just a quick trip to the store for rotisserie chicken and only 10 short minutes of preparation time. The cornbread base is topped with flavorful enchilada sauce, followed by tender rotisserie chicken and Mexican-blend cheese. It’s simple, yet homey and can be served plain or dressed up with a variety of toppings for a complete meal.

—1 pkg (8.5 oz) corn muffin mix

—1 can (14.5 oz) cream-style corn

—2 eggs

—1/2 cup milk

—1 teaspoon chili powder

—1/2 teaspoon cumin

—2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided

—1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (I used red)

—3 cups pulled rotisserie chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken breast)

Optional toppings:

—diced tomato

—sour cream

—shredded iceberg lettuce

—sliced black olives

—chopped onions or green onions

—salsa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl combine the corn muffin mix, cream-style corn, eggs, milk, chili powder, cumin, and 1 cup of cheese. Whisk until combined then pour into the casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and use a knife to pierce the cornbread mixture about 20 times all over (the cornbread will not be fully cooked). Pour the enchilada sauce covering the surface of the cornbread. Top with the pulled chicken and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving as is or with optional toppings.