Inspired by one of my favorite appetizers from Chef Bradley Odgen’s Lark Creek restaurants, today’s BBQ Chicken with Tamale Pancakes are a heavenly combination of textures and flavors.
Today’s tamale pancakes, made with corn meal and corn flour, are topped with cooked chicken tossed in a coffee BBQ sauce and finished with a bright bite of cabbage slaw. A beautiful blend of South of the Border flavors and the perfect way kick off any 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 rest while you assemble the other ingredients.
These appetizers are made with several components, but most 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 an hour or so ahead! Reheat the chicken and sauce, quickly cook the tamale pancakes, and you are ready for any party!
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.
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 BBQ Chicken with Tamale Corn Pancakes would make a great lunch or light meal too. I love the combination of flavors and textures in every bite. Bold and delightful, I could easily make a whole meal of these appetizers.
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!!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for BBQ Chicken Tamale Corn Pancakes:
- BBQ Sauce: olive oil, onions, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses
- Chile powder, chipotle powder, dried mustard, chicken broth, coffee
- Tamale Pancakes: milk, corn flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, corn kernels
- Bell pepper, green onions, cilantro (or parsley), butter, baking soda
- Slaw: lime juice, vinegar, sugar, olive oil, chili powder, salt, pepper
- Cabbage, grated carrots, red onions, cilantro or parsley
- Chicken: chicken thighs, salt, pepper, cumin, olive oil
Save yourself a bunch of time and effort by making some of the components in advance. The BBQ sauce, slaw, and chicken can all be made ahead and assembled when you make the tamale pancakes.
To save even more time, you can use your favorite jarred BBQ sauce and a rotisserie chicken from the store. You could even pick up some coleslaw at the salad bar! To make this easy on yourself use the shortcuts wherever you can.
How to make BBQ Chicken Tamale Corn Pancakes:
- BBQ Sauce: Sauté onions and garlic in oil until translucent and soft, then stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, chile powder, chipotle, and mustard; cook, stirring until the sugar is dissolved then add the chicken broth and coffee, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup
- Tamale Pancake Batter: Combine the milk, corn flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a heavy saucepan and stir in the corn; cook until liquid is absorbed and thickened; cool slightly then stir in peppers, green onions, and cilantro, then sprinkle with the baking soda and butter, stirring until melted, then cool the batter completely
- Slaw: Mix together the lime juice, vinegar, sugar and olive oil, then add in the chili powder, salt and pepper, whisking vigorously; in a large bowl combine the cabbage, carrots, and onions, then toss with the dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated
- Chicken: Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and cumin; cook in hot oil until browned on both sides and transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until chicken reaches 165°F in the center (timing depends on the size of the piece and whether they have bones in them)
- Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cut the meat off the bones (unless boneless) and cut into small pieces; toss with some of the BBQ sauce until evenly coated, keep warm until ready to serve
- Cook the Tamale Pancakes: Lightly grease a nonstick griddle and preheat over medium heat; when shimmering, scoop the batter onto the griddle and cook until bottoms are golden, then flip and cook the second side until golden; keep warm in a low oven
- Assemble the Plates: Place one or two pancakes on serving plates, top with some of the warm BBQ chicken, a little of the slaw, then add a cilantro leaf and serve
If you don’t have the time or desire to make the BBQ sauce, feel free to use your favorite store-bought variety. The entire line of Stubb’s sauces are gluten free!
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cups and dry measuring cups
- Box grater
- Mixing bowls
- Salad tools
- Baking sheet pan
- Griddle or large nonstick skillet
Bob’s Red Mill sells both corn flour and medium cornmeal. Together they give you the most corn flavor to complement the corn kernels in the pancakes, similar to old-fashioned hoecakes.
- 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
- 1/2 cup corn flour (see Note)
- 1/2 cup medium ground cornmeal (see Note)
- 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
- Ground cumin
- 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 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 they 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. Heat 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 to make 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.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 608Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1612mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 6gSugar: 27gProtein: 33g
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 (you are here)
- 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
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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