Having said that, why, oh why, did it never occur to me to make a barbecue chicken pot pie? Huh? I got the idea from Fleischmann's, who sent me some of their new cornbread mix to try*. The whole notion seemed like a stroke of genius to me, so I tried it and was SO pleased with the results. Fresh corn and flavorful, juicy, and saucy chicken were topped with some of the most cake-like, fluffy, and delicious cornbread I've ever eaten.
Now, while I like traditional pie crusts, I actually dread making them and found the cornbread topping to be markedly easier and quite possibly even tastier. Of course, the major flavor of the dish depends on what kind of barbecue sauce you use, so be sure to use one that you like. I sprinkled a little feta cheese on top of my portion because I'm currently obsessed with the stuff and like the salty punch it provides, but use whatever you want as garnish. One last bit of advice: Don't skimp on the cilantro--its verdant and bright flavor is the perfect accompaniment to the chicken, corn, and cornbread.
Barbecue Chicken Pot Pie
Makes 6-8 servings
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's, obviously)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups frozen or canned corn, thawed or drained
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 package Fleischmann's Simply Homemade Cornbread Mix
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend, but float your own boat)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick spray.
In a ziplock bag, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, flour, salt, and pepper; shake until blended, then add chicken pieces and toss until chicken is completely coated.
In a 10-inch skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over medium heat. Add the diced onions and cook until soft and transparent, 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet and cook until slightly brown. Add the barbecue sauce and chicken broth to the skillet and mix well. Fold in the corn and chopped cilantro.
Mix cornbread mix, milk, melted butter, egg, sugar, and shredded cheese in a large mixing bowl with a spoon until well blended.
Pour the barbecue chicken mixture into the prepared pan. Spoon the cornbread batter on top of that and spread it out as evenly as possible.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until slightly golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
*While I'm indebted to the folks at Fleischmann's for providing the mix and the great idea, their generosity in no way skewed my high opinion of their products.