Sandi Klingler of Auburn, Alabama, took home the grand prize at the National Cornbread Cook-off in 2005 for this Thanksgiving-themed meal in a skillet.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup Martha White all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup mashed baked sweet potatoes or 1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 (16-ounce) package Martha White Cotton Country Cornbread Mix
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Make the filling: Melt the butter in a 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat; gradually add the flour, whisking until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add the broth and half-and-half; cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the pepper. Stir in the chicken, mushrooms, cranberries, and cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low while preparing the topping.
Make the topping: Combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, egg, and milk in a medium bowl; stir until blended. Add the cornbread mix; stir until blended. Carefully spread the topping over the chicken mixture to cover as a crust.
Bake until the cornbread is golden and the chicken mixture is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.
The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook
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I tried this recipe because I had leftover chicken and left over sweet potatoes. On a whim, I searched for a recipe that used these two ingredients and up popped this. Looking at the recipe, I thought it might be too sweet, so I substituted peas (still a little sweet) for the cranberries, skipped the extra sugar, and used 1% milk instead of half-and-half. I also sauteed fresh mushrooms instead of using canned. The sauce was quite tasty, but the cornbread topping was still too sweet. If I made it again, I would make the cornbread from scratch. But it did use up my chicken and sweet potatoes and looked very good.
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