Barbecue Chicken Cheddar Cornbread

Barbecue Chicken Cheddar Cornbread

Barbecue chicken and cornbread make a unique and delicious combination! I know the idea is nothing new, but baking the chicken right into the cornbread is…A thorough search turned up no other recipes of it’s kind, just lots of casseroles with cornbread crusts or toppings.

I was on the prowl for something a little ‘different’ and was craving cornbread too. The idea for a chicken cornbread had been brewing on the back burner for some time. And the stars were aligned that day because by chance I had leftover barbecue chicken. It was fated.

I turned to my tried and true cornbread recipe and packed it full of flavor. Gently sauteed onion and bell pepper along with extra sharp cheddar cheese went into the batter along with sour cream and an extra dose of barbecue sauce. The end result is this incredibly flavored, tender, moist, tangy and sweet cornbread with colorful speckles throughout. This is one of the heartiest breads I’ve ever made, filling and satisfying, it’s a meal all in itself.

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Barbecue Chicken Cheddar Cornbread
(by Reeni)

1 small onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
olive or vegetable oil, for sauteing
sea salt and fresh black pepper
1 + 1/2 cups chicken, cooked, shredded or chopped
About 1 +1/2 cups barbecue sauce
1 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream (regular or light)
3 tablespoon butter, melted, plus additional for greasing pan
1 + 1/3 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a large skillet saute onion and pepper over medium low heat in enough oil to cover bottom of pan. Season with salt and pepper. When onion is translucent add chicken and enough barbecue sauce to lightly coat everything. Remove from heat.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a cast iron skillet or a 9×9 inch baking pan.

3. In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon sea salt.

4. In a separate medium bowl whisk the eggs, add the milk, sour cream and butter. Whisk together. Add this mixture to the dry mixture and stir together. Add the chicken, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and the cheddar, stir until just combined.

5. If using a cast iron skillet heat, over medium heat melt in a tablespoon of butter and coat the pan with it. Add batter to pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until center is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Printable Recipe

Barbecue Chicken Cheddar Cornbread

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Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

When I found out my Mom wasn’t making her much beloved stuffing for Christmas I knew it was a perfect opportunity for me to attempt a corn bread stuffing. I say attempt because I’m not the designated stuffing maker in the family and I’ve never made it before. But after watching my Mom make hers every year(sans recipe) my own recipe had already been devised in my mind.

I made my own corn bread, a plain and simple recipe that I don’t recommend for eating on its own. It’s a little on the dry side but exactly the texture I was looking for. Here is thee best corn bread recipe for eating. You can buy the corn bread crumbs in a bag if you prefer – or buy cornbread and let it get stale. I used the same flavor profiles throughout the cornbread itself and the stuffing: lots of onion, thyme and sage. The real secret to adding lots of flavor lies in the crumbled sausage. That and baking it in the oven until the bottom as well as the top crisps up to a nice golden brown. The crusty parts are my favorite – watch out because I’ll fight you for them!

 Ready for the Oven.
Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing Ready for the Oven

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing
(by Reeni)
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Olive oil, for sauting
Sea salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Thyme
2 teaspoons Sage
1 pound Sausage roll (like Jones, usually found in the freezer section by breakfast items)
4 tablespoons Butter
1/3 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
7 cups stale Corn Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (recipe follows, make 2 days in advance or use packaged corn bread crumbs)
4-5 cups Chicken Broth
1. In a large skillet saute the onion and celery in a two tablespoon of Olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper, when they begin to soften add the thyme and sage.
2. When the onion is soft and translucent add the sausage, crumble it as it cooks. While the sausage is cooking preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease or spray a 9×13 inch baking pan.
3. When the sausage is cooked through add the butter and parsley. Mix the butter throughout the sausage. Add the crumbs. Add about 3 cups of chicken broth to start carefully mixing to soak the crumbs and distribute the sausage. Taste a crumb. Add more broth if needed a 1/2 cup at a time. The crumbs should be soaked through. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed and more herbs if desired.
4. Spread in pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes and take off foil to brown the top. Continue cooking for 15-20 more minutes until top is golden brown.
Cornbread for making Stuffing(make 2 days in advance)
(by Reeni)
1 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
Vegetable oil for sauting
1 cup All-Purpose White Flour
1 cup Corn Meal
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Sage
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Whole milk
3 tablespoons melted Butter
1. Saute the onion in oil until soft and tender. Set aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8-pan and set aside.
3. In a large bowl combine the flour, corn meal, baking powder, thyme, sage, and salt.
4. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and then beat in the milk.
5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture beating until just moistened.
6. Mix in the onions and butter. Pour into pan and bake 20-25 minutes until top is browned.
7. Cool and turn out from pan. Cut into slices and then into 1-inch cubes. Spread out on baking sheet and loosely cover with wax paper. Store in a cool, dry place for at least two days. They should be crunchy all the way through when making the stuffing or it can get crumbly. If pressed for time or if they still seem soft in some places bake slowly in a 250 or 300 degree oven until crispy all the way through.

Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing

Drunk Chili and Cheddar Cornbread Dumplings

Sun-Dried Tomato Beer Chili & Cheddar Cornbread Dumplings

Chili and cornbread go together like bees and honey. A classic, comfort food combination that I love and naturally gravitate towards when the temps dip below freezing and snowflakes are falling past my window. They are both so versatile and can be flavored up so many different ways there is no reason to ever get tired of them.

I used my basic go-to chili recipe and spiced it up by adding sun-dried tomatoes, beer and Chipotle peppers. The tomatoes and peppers gave it a depth of flavor that was rich, spicy and delicious. I don’t know how much the beer added to the final outcome of the chili. It wasn’t discernible in the flavor. I used a pale ale, next time I will use a darker beer and more of it to see if that makes any difference.

I used beer in the cornbread dumplings too, and sharp cheddar cheese. The result is a moist and tender cornbread that you can easily spoon right up with your chili. What could be easier than to cook the cornbread right on top of the chili? The best part is less dirty pans! Well, no, I’m lying. The best part is the eating!

Sun-Dried Tomato Beer Chili & Cheddar Cornbread Dumplings

Sun-Dried Tomato Chili with Cornbread Dumplings
(by Reeni)
For the Chili:
Olive Oil for sautéing
1 large Yellow Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1-2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo, diced, seeds removed
1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, rehydrated in hot water, diced
1 tablespoon Chile powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 pound Ground Beef, 85% lean
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
14 and ½ ounce can Diced Tomatoes with juices
1 can Cannelini beans with juices
3/4 cup frozen or canned(drained) Corn
8 ounces Beer(save the rest for the cornbread)(Pale Ale)
For the Dumplings:
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
1/4 cup Corn Meal
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Shredded Cheddar
1/2 cup Beer
1. Saute the onion in a tablespoon or two of oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan or soup pot over medium-low heat. When the onion is tender and translucent add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
2. Add the Chipotle peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, Chile powder, cumin, oregano and thyme. Saute for three more minutes. Add the ground beef and Worcestershire, breaking it apart as it browns. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, and beer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and re-season if needed.
4. To make the dumplings combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add the cheddar and beer. Mix just until combined. Let sit for five minutes.
5. Drop the dumpling dough by tablespoonfuls onto the top of the chili. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tops of the dumplings are firm.
6. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese.

How to Freeze Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Don’t you hate opening a whole can of Chipotles and only using one or two? I have the solution! Freeze them. Add each one to the corner of a sandwich baggie with a spoonful of sauce. Tie up the bag. Store them all in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Take out as needed. They thaw quickly. You can even put the bag right in a small bowl of hot water if you need them at the last moment.

Sun-Dried Tomato Beer Chili & Cheddar Cornbread Dumplings