Thursday, 5 May 2011

Mexican Chicken Stew with Cheddar Cornbread

As most of you are probably aware, today is Cinco de Mayo-a day that celebrates Mexico's victory over France in a 19th century battle. So the blogosphere is packed full of Mexican-inspired recipes, and I just couldn't help jumping on the bandwagon. Obviously I'm not in the slightest bit hispanic, but I do love a little theme to inspire my mid-week cooking.

It also gave me the perfect excuse to make cornbread, something which I've always wanted to attempt. It makes a great accompaniment to all sorts of soups, stews and chillies, and in particular this Mexican Chicken Stew.

Here's a basic cornbread recipe that I came up with after trawling through various recipes, all claiming to be "the ultimate cornbread". Some used buttermilk (which I didn't have) or cream (which I didn't have). You could also add some jalapeno chillies to make this a real mexican experience, but I had to rein in the spice to make it suitable for Wonderboy.

Here's what I came up with....

(Measurements are in american cups, which makes for super easy baking)

1 cup plain flour

1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal-they are essentially the same thing, although cornmeal is slightly more finely ground. Polenta is generally easier to get hold of.

1tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sweetcorn kernels-I used tinned

1 cup grated mature cheddar

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup of buttermilk or soured milk (made by squeezing 1tbsp fresh lemon juice into 1 cup of semi-skimmed milk, and leaving for 5 minutes)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup honey

1. Pre-heat oven to 200'C.

2. Butter and flour a 9"x 9" baking pan.

3. Sift into a bowl the flour, polenta, baking powder and salt.

4. Add the sweetcorn and grated cheddar to the bowl.

5. In a seperate jug, combine the eggs, milk, melted butter and honey.

6. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, then mix with your hand very briefly until the flour is moistened. Try not to mix for more than 10 seconds, and don't freak out if the batter is still lumpy. Over-mixing means the finished cornbread will be much denser. Big no-no.

7. Now pour the mixture into the pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Serve with the chicken stew. And please, please, have a batch of margheritas or some tequila to hand. I didn't...and I regretted it.


  1. mmmm....looks soooo yummy!!! thanks for shairng the recipe :)

  2. Looks delicious! I made a Mexican dinner for the hubby and me! Thank for a great recipe!

  3. This sounds awesome. i have all the ingredients except cheddar unfortunately. I eat polenta on a regular basis and will give this a shot



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