Emeril Lagasse’s new cookbook, Essential Emeril, is now available!

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Chicken Chili With Cornbread Topping And Chipotle Crema

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • Essence
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes and their juices
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cornbread Topping
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, for topping
  • Chopped green onions, garnish
  • Chipotle Crema


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Season the chicken with Essence on all sides.
  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to the pan and when hot, add the onions, bell peppers and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, bay leaf, salt, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the corn and cook until starting to color and pop, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the stock, and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and cook until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the cilantro and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Spoon the cornmeal batter over the chicken mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the sides.
  • Bake until golden brown, 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the cheese on top. Return to the oven until melted, 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  • Garnish with the chopped green onions and drizzle with the crema. Serve hot.