For those of you who’ve followed my blog over time, you know that I’m smack dab in the middle of “Fair Season”. For those of you who are new to me and don’t know what I mean by Fair Season, I judge food contests and present cooking demos at state, regional and local fairs, and this is definitely the busiest time of year for it!
This is the 3rd year for me to present a cooking demo at the Washington State Fair, and I had the idea I’d create “Muffin Tin Meals.” There are a lot of great reasons to use a muffin to make something other than a plain old muffin: they cook quickly, they’re only a few bites which makes them great for snacks, game day food, tailgating, a light lunch with salad, camping or RV travel. Their simplicity makes them easy for kids to help prepare, they’re easy to freeze which makes them great to pull out at the last moment if you pack a lunch for work, and most importantly for me…PORTION CONTROL!
Of course, they’re also a lot of fun to make and eat. As you’re figuring out what you want to create, their smaller size means you can easily change them up without having to make a huge batch or wait a long time for baking if your recipe needs some work. I also designed the recipes for the demo so you could easily substitute ingredients for a time-saving can or box here and there. In the case of the following Chicken and Green Chile Corn Muffins, you could use your own roasted chicken breast, deli roasted chicken or even canned chicken to make it work (have you tried that white meat chick in the blue can at Costco? It’s amazing!) So, what are we having to EAT?!
Start with a corn muffin recipe that yields 6 to 8 muffins. You can make it from scratch or use a boxed mix – I used a Jiffy muffin mix that makes 6 muffins….
…now add all the other ingredients – chicken, green chiles, cheese and spices and stir to combine…
…we can’t forget our secret ingredient – Tapatio! Just 3 or 4 drops doesn’t make it spicy, but really deepens and rounds out the flavors. Trust me!
After your mix in the Tapatio, put liners in your muffin tin and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. You really want to do this step…
…now cook them according to your recipe directions – isn’t that easy? You’ll probably want them in the oven about 15 minutes at 375° or 400°. Look at how gorgeous they are when they’re done!
I like to garnish mine with a little sour cream and some chopped green onion or cilantro.
What a perfect light meal! I like to call this a “non-recipe” because you can change it up to suit your taste…maybe you’d rather put in pepperjack cheese, or some cooked chorizo, or red and green bell pepper, or don’t add any meat so it can be vegetarian. Make it your own and take all the credit for the “YUM!” you’ll hear from your hungry eaters!
Check back for my other Muffin Tin Meal recipes I’ll be posting this week – Sloppy Joe Biscuits, Breakfast Omelettes and Broccoli Cheddar Muffins.
And, I’ll be posting lots of pics and delicious recipes from judging at the Western Idaho State Fair, the Oregon State Fair and the Central Washington State Fair the past few weeks.
Chicken & Green Chile Corn Muffins
- Your favorite cornbread recipe for 6-8 muffins (your own or a mix – I used Jiffy cornbread mix)
- 8-10 oz. (around 1.5 cups) cooked, shredded or cubed chicken breast – you can use deli roasted chicken or your own
- 1 cup grated Mexican-style cheese, or 1/2 cup grated cheddar and 1/2 cup grated jack cheese combined
- 7 oz. can roasted, mild chopped green chiles (or spicier if you like)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- A few drops of Tapatio
- optional as garnish: sour cream, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, salsa
- Heat the oven to the temperature indicated in your recipe – probably 375° or 400°.
- Make your cornbread recipe in a large bowl – your own recipe or a mix, either works great.
- Add the shredded or cubed chicken, chiles, cheese and spices together and stir to combine all ingredients.
- Line 12 muffin tins with paper or foil liners, and coat them lightly with non-stick cooking spray. You really need to use the liners!
- Add chicken mixture to each cup.
- Bake according to muffin recipe directions until the cornbread is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool 3 to 4 minutes, then garnish and serve.
*If you saw my cooking demo at the Washington State Fair, this is a slightly different version than I presented. All the ingredients are the same, but one lady during the demo asked “Couldn’t you just mix everything together?” What a great idea! So with that suggestion, I’ve now combined everything rather than doing them in layers. I think it works a lot better!