Chicken Tamale Skillet


  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 lb (450 g) chicken tenders
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Chipotle Rub
  • 4 oz (125 g) Colby & Monterey Jack cheese blend (1 cup/250 mL grated)
  • 1 jar (16 oz) thick & chunky salsa (1 3/4 cups/425 mL)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen yellow corn
  • 1 can (15 oz/398 mL) reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pkg (17-18 oz/480-540 g) prepared plain cornmeal polenta
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) water
  • 3 cups (750 mL) whole unsalted tortilla chips


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut off top of bell pepper; remove seeds and veins with Scoop Loop®. Coarsely chop bell pepper; set aside.  

  2. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. In Small Batter Bowl, toss chicken with half of the oil and all of the rub. Heat remaining oil in 12” (30-cm) Skillet over medium heat 3-5 minutes or until shimmering. Add chicken and bell pepper to Skillet; cook 3–5 minutes or until browned and internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F (74°C), stirring occasionally.  

  3. On a clean cutting board, grate cheese with Microplane® Adjustable Coarse Grater; set aside. Add salsa, corn and beans to Skillet. Cook and stir 1–2 minutes or until mixture is heated through. Remove Skillet from heat.  

  4. Remove polenta from package, allowing water to drain out. Place polenta in Large Micro-Cooker®. Using Mix ‘N Chop, chop polenta into fine crumbs (see cook’s tips). Add water; microwave, covered on HIGH 3–4 minutes or until hot, stirring vigorously halfway through cooking to break up lumps.  

  5. Stir polenta until smooth. Add half of the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Using Medium Scoop, place polenta evenly over chicken mixture, about 1 in. (2.5 cm) from edge of Skillet. Use back of Scoop to gently flatten and spread the polenta.  

  6. Top evenly with chips and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 8–10 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly. Remove from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool 5 minutes.  


  • 8  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. Nutrients per serving: Calories 300, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 50 mg, Sodium 940 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 22 g


Cook's Tips:

The Mix ‘N Chop easily breaks up the polenta so that it gets smooth and creamy when heated through in the Large Micro-Cooker®. See step 4.  
The polenta acts as the masa in this tamale skillet. Using prepared polenta instead of making it from scratch is a shortcut to getting the creamy polenta layer. 


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