Slow-Cooker Chicken Tamale Stew with Cornbread Dumplings:
Yesterday I was craving Mexican, but I didn't want to settle for the usual suspects. Tacos, burritos, fajitas, nachos, enchiladas...it has all been done before. No, I wanted something different. While searching the web, I kept coming across what is called a tamale pie. In essence it is ground meat, vegetables, beans, and spices encased in thick cornbread. Kind of like a Mexican Sheppard's Pie if you will. Everything was sounding great, but the thought of all that thick,dense cornbread was turning me off. Hmmmm, how can I fix this? Then it hit me! Make a tamale stew and use the cornbread as dumplings!
Since a couple of my readers on Facebook requested some Crock-Pot recipes, I thought I would figure out how to make this using mine. The slow-cooker is new to me. Growing up, I am pretty sure my mother never had one. Other than the occasional roast, I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. Seems like now-a-days though, this method of cooking is all the rage. So, I have been stretching my wings and experimenting.
Here is what you will need:
1 lb. of chicken (ground or boneless skinless chicken breast)
1 15 oz. can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 15 oz. can or corn (Drained and rinsed. You can use 2 c. of frozen as well)
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can of enchilada sauce
(see http://foodlifeandspice.blogspot.com/2014/01/pantry-cooking-for-pantry-staplesit.html for a homemade version)
1 onion diced
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tbsps. chili powder
1 c. water
1 box of corn muffin mix
Tools You Will Need:
First off the chicken...
Now, you can brown up some ground chicken and place in your slow-cooker. If you want to keep this really simple you can cube up your chicken breast and toss it in raw as well. In fact, if you are going to make a freezer meal out of this I recommend that option. However, I had some time on my hands yesterday so I decided to beef up the flavor a little more!
I started out with 2 chicken breasts. I coated them in EVOO, salt and pepper, and a little creole seasoning. Then I put them in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes to roast. After letting them cool I cubed them up and scooped them in my slow-cooker. If you want to do this, but feel it is too time consuming for the morning, don't sweat it! This can all be done while you are doing dishes the night before. :)
Once that is finished, it is all a matter of plop and drop! Everything else, beans, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, corn, onion, seasonings, and water goes into the slow cooker. If your meat is fully cooked go ahead and taste for seasoning. If not, I would add 1 tsp. of salt and a 1/2 tsp. of pepper right here.
Then put your lid on, turn the temp to low, and let it go for 6-8 hours. You know, get the kids to school, go to work, homeschool, do a little extra cleaning...the usual.
About and hour before you are ready to eat mix your one box of muffin mix with your two eggs. Then, taking a spoon or a tbsp. scooper plop little dumplings all throughout your mixture and turn your temp to high. :)
After an hour, you can ladle out in your favorite bowl, add some sour cream, chives, cilantro, and, of course, CHEESE! This is warm, hearty, and delicious! It can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the meat or replacing the chicken with tofu or soy crumbles. For a freezer meal, add all the ingredients to a gallon Ziploc bag except for the corn muffin mix, eggs, and water. When you are ready to use add thawed mixture for slow-cooker with the water and go! Let me know if you try it! I would love to see your pics on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/foodlifeandspice and on my twitter https://twitter.com/thekitchenwife!
Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
The Kitchen Wife