Chicken Tamale Pie!

Ok, so this dinner has its genesis in a couple of places.  The first was a truly disappointing tamale pie I had from a well known manufacturer of organic foods.  I don’t have a big problem with the fact that it was vegan, but it didn’t taste like anything at all.  I really liked the idea, but the execution didn’t do anything for me.  Then, I had some leftover chicken.  I had cut up a chicken to make dinner a couple of nights ago, and we only ate the breasts.  This left wings, thighs, and legs to use.  Amy doesn’t care for them much, so they needed to be handled in a way that would make it less obvious what we were eating.  The truth is this would be a great way to use up leftover beans, and rice as well as chicken.  On the other hand since I was cooking the chicken, beans and rice I could season everything exactly the way I wanted it for this dish.  I guess what you do will depend on what you have laying around, and what state it is in.

1/2 cup dry black beans soaked over night

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 large onion finely diced

2 chicken leg quarters, cut into leg and thigh

salt and pepper

cumin

paprika

1/2 cup rice (uncooked)

1/2 large onion finely diced (yes, the other half!)

2 cloves garlic

1 poblano pepper finely diced

1 red bell pepper finely diced

1 can enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso. They have a very strict policy on labeling for gluten containing ingredients)

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free corn bread mix

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup canola oil or melted butter

Obviously you should soak your beans ahead of time to cut down on the cooking time.  Combine the first half of the onion and garlic with the black beans and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until tender.  Just fish one out and try it.  If it is not tender give it a little longer.

While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 350F.  Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, ground cumin, and paprika, and bake until cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool a bit, and pull the meat off the bone, and chop into small pieces.

Cook your rice. This is a fairly easy step, I just made some plain white rice for this.

In a large skillet sweat the second half of the onions and garlic until tender, add a little salt to draw out moisture, and help move this along.  Then add the poblano and bell peppers, and sweat until they are tender.  Add the chicken, beans, rice and enchilada sauce, and bring the mix up to a boil, and then simmer for a few minutes. Stir frequently.  Pour this mixture into a 13×9 inch pan. Turn the oven up to 375F.

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Prepare the cornbread mix according to the directions on the package, and then spread on top of the chicken and bean mixture.  Try to spread it as thinly and evenly as possible.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until the cornbread is golden brown on top and the filling of the pie is bubbling, and hot.

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I ate mine topped with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, and a nice gluten-free beer!  It was a great dinner, and the kind of thing that is even better the next day!
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Now of course if you wanted to make this vegetarian you could just leave out the chicken, there is protein already with the beans, and you could even add some squash and zucchini or whatever other veggies you wanted to. This kind of dish gives you lots of options to make things your own. Hope you enjoy it!

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4 responses

  1. Amy

    Smelled and tasted good! 🙂

    July 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm

  2. Melaine

    looks really delicious. How do you like the Bob’s gluten free corn bread mix? Do you prefer using the mixes?

    July 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm

  3. thepantryraider

    For things like corn bread I have always used mixes. It just tends to be easier. Bob’s products are generally very good. If I make cornbread on it’s own I almost always do something to make it more interesting. Roasted poblano peppers added to the mix was pretty tasty.

    For most of the baking I have done gluten-free I have made my own flour blends. It gives you more flexibility as far as flavor and texture are concerned.

    July 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm

  4. This fits right into my favorite kind of food, can’t wait to try it!

    August 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

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