Granny's Tamale Pie
This version of tamale pie doesn't call for a shred of cheese. Don't worry, you won't miss it.
Why This Recipe Works
Originally made with pheasant, we substituted more easily obtained dark-meat chicken in Granny’s Tamale Pie. Setting the Dutch oven in a pan of boiling water was a nifty trick that moderated the temperature and resulted in gentler, more even cooking. When we tried baking this tamale pie without it, the sides dried out and the interior was gluey and heavy.
Making the tomato sauce to serve on the side instead of incorporating it into the pie kept the dish from getting soggy. Dark meat was ideal for this dish, but we found bone-in, skin-on split breasts worked as well—as long as we reduced the cooking time.