This is one of those meals that sounds kind of odd, but is truly sooooo delicious! You have to be open-minded and enjoy a good casserole to find this appealing. Fortunately, that describes me perfectly : ) BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie- yes, please! This is a Rachel Ray recipe which, if you follow her recipes at all, has her signature flare. She is constantly coming up with recipes that are riffs on the classics- for example, BBQ chicken pizza, BBQ chicken pasta, BBQ chicken sammi, BBQ chicken stuffed potatoes, etc, etc. That’s her style. Most of the time I’m not a fan of her work, not that her recipes aren’t good, they just aren’t for me. But this one had cornbread. That changes everything. I have a notorious obsession with cornbread (Cornbread Topped Chili Skillet and-one of my favorites- Sweet, Moist Cornbread). So I gave it a shot and I LOVED it. I ate the entire skillet over the course of a few days. When I completely finish leftovers, that means the dish was truly THAT good.
So what exactly is BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie? Well, Rachel Ray actually named it “pizza” not “pie”, but I really thought that was misleading, so I changed it. The dish is constructed from a simple cornbread base made using 2 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix. It is baked in a large cast iron skillet and creates this deliciously moist and sweet bottom layer. Before it’s completely baked, a homemade BBQ chicken mixture is spread on top and some cheese is sprinkled on. The whole thing is finished off in the oven creating a cheesy, delicious meal. And man, is it a killer combination. Mmmmm…. Just talking about it makes me want some now. I should probably make it again soon.
I do have ONE qualm with this recipe though. I wanted more BBQ chicken mixture. I felt like the cornbread ratio was too high compared to the amount of BBQ chicken on top. Next time I make it I am either going to double the chicken mixture or halve the cornbread crust, baking it in a 9″ pie plate. But even if you decide to make it as written, it’s super delicious and a rather simple recipe.
- 2 boxes corn muffin mix, such as Jiffy, 8.5 oz each
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tb unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- Extra-virgin olive oil for the pan
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- 2 Tb Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb ground chicken (or about 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded, chopped fine
- salt & pepper
- 1 Tb chili powder
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 2 tsp hot sauce
- 1 Tb worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 Tb dark brown sugar
- 10 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- To garnish: chopped scallions and chopped parsley or cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, combine the 2 packages cornbread mix with the eggs, melted butter, and milk. Stir in the corn. Drizzle some olive oil onto a 12" cast iron pan. Pour in the batter, place the pan in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until the cornbread becomes light golden in color, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Place a medium skillet over med-high heat and add 2 Tb oil. Add the chicken and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once the chicken has crumbled and begins to brown, add the onion and bell pepper, sauté 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce. Cook for 5 minutes then add the worcestershire, tomato sauce, and brown sugar. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the cornbread sets up and begins to brown. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Remove cornbread from the oven and cover it with the BBQ chicken mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Put the pan back in the oven and cook 5 minutes more to set the toppings and melt the cheese. Top with scallions and chopped parsley or cilantro and serve from skillet, cutting into wedges.