Chicken Tamale Casserole

Chicken Tamale CasseroleI never really noticed how unflattering casseroles are until I started photographing them.  Can I have a show of hands please?  Who else has this problem?  Anyone?

In spite of that, this recipe is just too good.  I absolutely have to share it with you guys!  In these pictures, it is hard to get the point across that this dish tastes incredible.  I know I have whined about mexican food in the past, but this meal has got to be my number one exception to not being a big fan of the cuisine.  Ok.  So if you want to get all technical on me, this isn’t traditional mexican food.  Granted, this is a riff on an actual tamale, but it is sooo much easier to make this instead of filling corn husks with masa and chicken and steaming them for an hour.  You get the same flavors with all the convenience of a one pot meal.  You will love it because it is so easy it can be thrown together (not literally, of course…that would be messy…) on a weeknight!  It reheats great which is fortunate because you are going to want it again the next day for lunch.  The creamy sweet combo of the corn and cornmeal base is offset by the enchilada sauce.  Add chicken and cheese and you have a dish that is crazy addicting.  Add a margarita, and you may just want to start taking pictures of it….
Chicken Tamale CasseroleOne Year Ago: Beef Bourguignon & Tilapia W/Citrus Sauce
Two Years Ago: Buttermilk Bread S’Mores Bars

Chicken Tamale Casserole
I like to serve this with a big salad on the side and with a big scoop of sour cream on top.  Diced avocados are great too!

1 bag (2 c) shredded mexican blend, cheddar, monterey/jack, or co-jack cheese, divided
1/3 c milk
1 egg
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne
1 (14 oz) can cream style corn
1 box corn muffin mix, such as Jiffy
1/2 can chopped green chilies, drained-use the full can if you like your food nice and spicy!
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
3 c chunked or shredded cooked chicken-I like to use the meat from one deli rotisserie chicken

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, gently mix together 1/2 c of the shredded cheese, and the next 7 ingredients, through the chilies.  Pour into a sprayed 9X13 inch casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes or until set and dry across the top.  Remove from the oven and using a large fork, poke holes all over the top of the corn mixture.  Pour the can of enchilada sauce over top, spreading to cover the whole dish.  Top with chicken, and then sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly on top.  Bake for another 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.  Top with sour cream and diced avocado if desired.  In the rare case that there are enough leftovers, I freeze individual portions for my husband to take to lunch!