Chicken Tamale Casserole

This chicken casserole sounds a little unusual, but it is very filling and has a pleasing combination of flavors. It also freezes quite well.

Adapted from Joy of Cooking. Serves 8.

Boil a whole chicken with carrots, celery, onion, and salt until tender (at least 1 hour). Remove chicken from liquid and let cool to debone. Remove 2 1/2 cups of broth for casserole. Place bones back in remaining broth and simmer for several more hours. Freeze broth and half the meat for later use (yummy!).

You should have about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken remaining. Chop this into bite-size pieces. Place in skillet with:

3 cups of salsa and/or tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Simmer for about 10 minutes to let flavors blend and remove from heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk in a large bowl:

2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup melted lard

Stir in till well combined:

3 cups cornmeal or grits
2 1/2 cups broth
2 eggs

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the bottom of a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Spoon in chicken filling. Sprinkle on:

3 cups grated cheddar (about 12 ounces)

Spread the remaining batter on top. Bake until browned, 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve with homemade sour cream.

 

 

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