Chicken-Chili Tamale Pie



So, um, hi everyone. I’m alive and all of that.

A lot has been going on, from my youngest starting kindergarten (and being practically done at this point) to my getting a new job/promotion; from spending too much time on twitter to still managing to read a lot of books; from actively trying to flip our district to our district actually flipping blue (hooray!).

Through it all, there’s still been a lot of cooking. Just very little (read: zero) interest taking photographs and no time to blog. Or, perhaps more accurately, deciding instead to spend that downtime binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or playing nerdy board games.

What seems like an eternity ago, my friend Heather and I went to a cookbook event for Dorie Greenspan at the Spice House. Dorie is just the absolute cutest, by the way. I bought her newest cookbook, Everyday Dorie, and this was the first recipe I made from it (and finally decided to share with you).  True to (my) form, this is a Tex-Mexy type meal, cooked in a cast iron pan, and has black beans in it. As such, it was an obvious hit with the family.

Chicken-Chili Tamale Pie

  • 20 minutes
  • 50 minutes
  • 6 servings


  • For the chili:
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored/seeded and diced, divided
  • 1 jalapeno, minced, divided
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle or other chili powder
  • 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, with liquid
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced + 1 tsp. adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2-3.5 cups* cooked, chopped chicken
  • up to 1/2 cup chicken broth, if needed
  • chopped cilantro, to taste
  • For the cornbread:
  • 1.5 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour (I used 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup masa harina)
  • 1.5 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle or other chili powder
  • 1.25 cups milk, preferably whole
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (if desired)
  • *if you are using the sweet potato, use the lesser amount of chicken; without sweet potato, go for the higher end


  1. To make the chili: If using the sweet potato, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil. Add the sweet potato cubes and cook until not quite tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Stir in the onion and a pinch of salt and cook about 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, half of the bell pepper, half of the jalapeno, cumin, and chili powder and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the peppers have softened. Add the tomatoes and beans with their juices, about 1 tsp. salt, black pepper to taste, the chipotle and adobo sauce, and honey, cooking for a few more minutes. Stir in the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, combining the flavors. If the mixture looks dry, add some or all of the chicken broth. Season to taste and stir in the cilantro.
  3. Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 425°.
  4. To make the cornbread: In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour (and/or masa), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chile powder together. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, oil, and honey. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking to combine. Fold in the other half of the bell and jalapeno peppers, and cilantro.
  5. Pour and smooth the cornbread batter over the chicken chili in the skillet (or, if you prefer or if your skillet is not oven-safe, you can pour the chili into an 11x7" baking dish first).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until filling is bubbling and cornbread is golden brown and firm to the touch. A tester inserted in the center should come out clean.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Everyday Dorie

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