Thursday, April 29, 2010

Aunt Lucille's Hot and Spicy Chicken Pie

What I love about blogging for this site is that it's gotten me to dig into my family-recipe stash, the one I've ignored and felt overwhelmed by. And what I love about family recipes is that I don't feel obligated to follow them to a T, even when it's my first time trying them out.

In other words, this week it's time to play. And play I did, as you'll see from the heavily annotated ingredient list below.

Turned out awesome. Take it as it is, or play around with it a bit more. This is gooooood food, and there's not much you can do to make good food bad, especially when you're a food lover, as I'm sure all of us here are.


Aunt Lucille's Hot and Spicy Chicken Pie [with my italicized tweaks in brackets]

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces [I had 4, so I used 4]
1/2 package of frozen corn [I used about 3/4 of a largish package]
1/2 cup chicken broth [My chicken broth is frozen in 6-ounce jars, so that's what I used]
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 medium onion, sliced thin [I just chopped it somewhat coarsely]
1/2 cup salsa [I used a bit more]
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 8.5-ounce package of cornbread mix [Two things here: I used a 12-ounce package, and found it was just barely enough. Also, if I'd had the time, I'd have made my own cornbread batter rather than rely on a mix. Next time.]
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese [I'm the only one who likes cheese, so I left it out of the recipe below, and instead sprinked shredded cheese over my portion of the pie]
6-8 ounces canned, diced chili peppers, drained

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine chicken, corn, broth, celery and onion in a medium pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat. [I actually started with a glug of olive oil in my dutch oven, then sauteed the chicken, celery, and onion before adding the broth and frozen corn.]

3. Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Add salsa.

5. In a small bowl, stir two tablespoons of water into the cornstarch. Add to pan [or dutch oven] and cook, stirring, until bubbly. Cook for two more minutes.

6. In a separate bowl, prepare cornbread mix as directed on package.

7. Pour chicken mixture into a 10x6x2 casserole dish. [I needed my 11x7 dish, and it was full. But like I said, I used more chicken than the recipe called for.] Sprinkle with cheese [if using] and chilis, then spoon cornbread over the top.

8. Bake for 20 minutes, until cornbread topping is brown.

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