Chicken Tamale Casserole
When I think of tamales, I think of the rich masa and a chicken filling. This recipe recreates the masa in the topping, kind of like cornbread, but without sugar. If you don't have masa, use finely ground cornmeal. The filling uses convenience items too, like leftover cooked chicken, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, and a can of chopped green chiles. Top with a good melting cheese of your choice, avocado slices, and chopped tomatoes. Garnish with black olives and sliced green onions, if desired. A little dollop of sour cream would be good, too!
- 2⅓ cups masa harina
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½teaspoon salt
- ⅔cup vegetable shortening (such as Crisco®)
- 2⅓ cups chicken broth
- 2each poblano peppers
- 2tablespoons olive oil, divided, or as needed
- ⅓cup chopped onion
- 2cloves garlic, minced
- 1(14.5 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1(4 ounce) can mild chopped green chile peppers
- 3tablespoons capers
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- 1pinch ground cloves
- 3cups shredded cooked chicken meat
- 6each dried corn husks, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 2cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1medium avocado, sliced
- ¼cup sliced black olives, or to taste
- ¼cup chopped tomatoes, or to taste
- ¼cup sour cream, or to taste
- 2tablespoons sliced green onions, or to taste
Step 1Combine masa harina, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Step 2Place vegetable shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium-high speed until fluffy.
Step 3Mix in 1/3 of the masa harina mixture on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Mix in 1/2 of the chicken broth and mix until combined. Add 1/3 of the masa marina mixture, and mix about 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining broth and mix an additional 2 minutes. Add in the remainder of the masa mixture and mix about 5 minutes. The mixture will be a slightly thick batter. Allow to stand while the filling is prepared.
Step 4Preheat the oven's broiler. Place poblano chiles directly on the oven rack under the broiler and broil until the skin is blackened and bubbly. Turn the peppers to blacken the skin on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
Step 5Place broiled peppers in a paper bag, close the bag, and allow the peppers to steam inside the bag, about 10 minutes.
Step 6When peppers are cool enough to touch, remove the skins. Cut the peppers open and remove the seeds and membranes. Slice into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Step 7Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 8While the onions are cooking, use some more olive oil to grease a 10x10-inch baking dish, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Step 9Add garlic to the skillet and cook about 1 minute. Stir in sliced poblano peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes and juice, green chiles, capers, cumin, and cloves. Cook for 4 minutes. Stir in cooked chicken and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Step 10Pour filling into the prepared dish.
Step 11Carefully and evenly spread the masa harina mixture on top of the filling.
Step 12Remove excess water from each corn husk and place on top of the masa mixture, overlapping as necessary. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Step 13Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
Step 14Remove foil and corn husks. Sprinkle on Monterey Jack cheese and return to the oven until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
Step 15Top with avocado slices, black olives, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, and green onions to taste. Serve warm.