Chicken Tamale Bake
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” It turns out that not all my Facebook fans would agree with Juliet! I was hesitant as to whether to title this dish a “casserole” because I’ve heard a lot of people shun that entire category of recipes. This confused me, because to me a casserole is just any combination of ingredients layered or mixed together and baked in a 9×13 baking dish. I decided to pose the question to my core group of readers on Facebook and though the majority were casserole lovers, several people mentioned that the word has a negative connotation either to them or someone in their immediate family. Something to do with cream of (chicken/mushroom/etc) soups, it seems. Since you won’t find any of those in this recipe, I decided to call it a bake so that all you casserole haters out there will try it! A special shout out goes out to all you Minnesota readers who suggested I call is a “hotdish” – I’ve never heard people call casseroles that before!
Let me get this out of the way by saying I’ve never had a traditional tamale, so I have no idea if this recipe mimics authentic Latin American tamale flavors. What I do know is that it’s delicious, and that’s all that really matters, right? I absolutely loved the combination of the slightly sweet corn cake and a little bit of heat from the chiles, cayenne pepper and enchilada sauce. I know a lot of you are Bubble Up Enchilada fans, but I personally liked this dish even better and it’s just as easy to make. I think it had something to do with the corn cake smothered in enchilada sauce and covered with chicken and cheese. Yum.
Whether bake, casserole or hotdish, however you’d like to refer to this recipe, I know it will not disappoint. You may even want to call it a casserole. Try it. It may just change your mind about them!
Bake again and eat!
Chicken Tamale Bake
Yield: 8 servings
1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend, divided (I used Weight Watchers brand)
1/3 cup skim milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 (14.75 oz) can of cream-style corn
1 (8.5 oz) box of corn muffin mix
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly mist a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together ¼ cup of the Mexican cheese, the milk, egg, cumin, pepper, corn, muffin mix and green chiles in a bowl until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes until the layer is set (an inserted toothpick should come out clean).
- Using a fork, liberally poke holes all over the surface of the corn cake layer. Pour the enchilada sauce over the top and spread across the surface of the corn cake. Sprinkle the shredded chicken evenly across the top and follow with the remaining ¾ cup shredded cheese. Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting into servings.
Weight Watchers SmartPoints:
9 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Weight Watchers Points Plus:
7 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
254 calories, 29 g carbs, 8 g sugars, 8 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 17 g protein, 1 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
very slightly adapted from Cooking Light