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Chicken Tamale Pie

If you were dining at the home of an aspiring Los Angeles hostess in 1930, you might have been served smoked salmon appetizers (strips of salmon rolled "around a midget sweet pickle in the form of a calla lily"), followed ... Read more

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours | Serves 8 to 10


  • 1 (4-pound) chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced black olives

Step 1Grease a 2-quart baking pan and set aside.

Step 2Place the chicken in a Dutch oven and cover with very hot water. Bring to a boil and cook 40 minutes.Drain the chicken, reserving 3 cups of the stock. Remove the skin and bones and discard. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

Step 3Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 4Bring the reserved stock to a boil and add the cornmeal, chili powder, paprika and salt; stir until smooth. Add the milk, whisking to avoid any lumps, and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened and drops readily from a spoon. Fold in the olives and the chicken. Pour the mixture into the baking pan.

Step 5Bake the pie until lightly browned on top and heated through, 20 minutes. Serve with Chili Cream Sauce.

Chili Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped canned pimientos

Step 1Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chili powder and salt, then add the milk and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Add the pimientos and cook 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Serve hot with the Tamale Pie.

Note: From "Junior League Recipes," published by the Junior League of Los Angeles in 1930. This recipe, contributed by Mrs. Brian Welch, appeared in a chapter titled "Spanish-Mexican.".
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