The whole thing is finished off in the oven creating a cheesy, delicious meal.
2 boxes corn muffin mix, such as Jiffy, 8.5 oz each
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
Extra-virgin olive oil for the pan
2 tbsp. 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 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. hot sauce
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
10 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
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 tbsp. 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.
Note: Can easily be made in a 9″ deep dish pie plate by halving the cornbread mixture. I highly recommend this since the original quantity has a large cornbread to chicken mixture ratio. OR to make in a 9×13-inch pan, leave the cornbread mixture as written and double the chicken mixture.