Inspired by one of my favorite appetizers from Chef Bradley Odgen’s Lark Creek restaurants, today’s BBQ Chicken Tamale Pancakes are a heavenly combination of textures and flavors.
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Each recipe in our menu this month features coffee in some form: espresso granules, coffee grounds, brewed coffee, coffee extract, etc. Our host this month is Coleen from The Redhead Baker.
Today’s tamale pancakes, made with corn meal and corn flour, are topped with cooked chicken tossed in a coffee BBQ sauce (coffee is our theme for this month’s #ProgressiveEats!) and finished with a bright bite of cabbage slaw. A beautiful blend of South of the Border flavors and the perfect way kick off our party!
When you make your next chicken dinner, cook extra and you have the chicken you need for this appetizer. Another option is to use a grocery store rotisserie chicken – just take the meat off the bones and shred or cube. So simple!
With today’s pre-shredded cabbage blends you can have the slaw made in just a few minutes. Let it sit while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
These appetizers are made with several components, but each can be made ahead to make assembly quick and easy. The chicken, sauce and slaw can be made a day or two ahead and kept in the refrigerator. Even the pancake batter can be made ahead! Reheat the chicken, quickly cook the tamale pancakes, and you are ready for any party!
These pancakes and chicken would make a great lunch or light meal too. So pull out all the stops, round up all of these recipes from these incredible women, and throw a party that everyone will be talking about for months!!
Bob’s Red Mill sells both corn flour and fine corn meal. Together they give you the most corn flavor to complement the corn kernels in the pancakes.
BBQ Chicken Tamale Pancake Appetizers
Adapted from a recipe from Chef John Ledbetter from Lark Creek restaurants
Yield: about 6 servings
1 tbsp olive oil or bacon fat
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup ketchup
3 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 tsp molasses
2 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup brewed coffee
Kosher or fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup finely chopped red or orange bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature, divided
1/4 tsp baking soda
Cilantro or parsley sprigs, for garnishing
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/3 cup grated carrots
2 tbsp minced red onions
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro or parsley
1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs or bone-in thighs
Kosher or fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
- Make the BBQ Sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. When shimmering, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, ancho powder, chipotle powder, and dried mustard. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken broth and coffee, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the sauce is reduced to about 1 cup. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
- Make the Tamale Pancake Batter: In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk, corn flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Stir in the corn kernels. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly then stir in the bell peppers, green onions, and chopped cilantro. Sprinkle the baking soda over the top and add the butter. Stir in until the butter is melted and the soda is evenly distributed. Cool the batter completely. (The batter can be made a day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
- Assemble the Slaw: In a small bowl or jar, combine the lime juice, vinegar, sugar, and olive oil. Add the chili powder, salt, and pepper, and whisk vigorously. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, and onions, tossing to blend. Pour the dressing over the produce and stir to be sure everything is coated. Set aside until ready to use. Toss again before using a slotted spoon or tongs to serve. Can be made a day ahead.
- Cook the Chicken: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with the salt, pepper and a little cumin. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and cook until browned on the first side. Flip over and cook until the second side is browned. Transfer to a baking sheet, place in the oven and cook until the internal temperature is 165°F, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cut the meat off the bones (if the pieces aren’t already boned) and cut into small cubes. Toss the chicken with a little of the BBQ sauce, until all the pieces are evenly coated. Keep warm until serving. Can be made 1 day in advance; refrigerate, covered, and reheat before serving.
- Alternately, buy a rotisserie chicken at your grocery store, remove the bones, and shred the meat for quicker meal prep.
- Cook the Tamale Pancakes: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place the oil in a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, working in batches, pour the batter into the pan in individual small pancakes. Cook until the bottoms and edges are golden brown then loosen and flip over with a spatula. Cook the second side until golden. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Cook the remaining cakes.
- Assemble the Plates and Serving: Place a pancake or two on each serving plate. Pile with some of the warm BBQ chicken and top with a little slaw. Set a cilantro sprig on top and serve, passing additional BBQ sauce at the table.
This recipe is part of our monthly progressive dinner party, Progressive Eats. See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes!
- BBQ Chicken Tamale Corn Pancakes with Coffee BBQ Sauce from The Heritage Cook
- White Chocolate Espresso Martini from SpiceRoots
- Espresso Coffee Cake with Dates, Walnuts and Espresso Glaze from Creative Culinary
- Coffee-Rubbed Flank Steak from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Crusty Cheesy Coffee Potato Cups from Mother Would Know
- White Chocolate Mocha Layer Cake from The Redhead Baker
- Frosted Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a progressive dinner, it involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
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