Crew’s Mess: Pollo de Mayo

May 23, 2018 by Capt. John Wampler

Crew’s Mess: by Capt. John Wampler

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is often mistakenly associated with Mexican independence. Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates Mexico’s victory against the French in the Battle of Pueblo. Mexico’s independence is celebrated Sept.16.

I like theme parties, and this recipe would be a nice dish to proffer the party host. Except for the green onion, every major component is precooked. This makes the dish easy to assemble in advance and pop in the oven when needed.

Pollo de Mayo

2 cups diced, cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast (or two 12.5-ounce cans chicken breast meat)

1 can (about 15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) “no added salt” corn, drained

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 green onions, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 cans (10.5 ounces each) cream of chicken soup

six 6-inch corn tortillas (add more if needed)

1/3 cup shredded, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

4 limes, juiced

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Stir the chicken, beans, corn, garlic, three-quarters of the green onions, the chili powder, soup and lime juice in a large bowl.

Spread about a quarter of the chicken mixture in the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet (a casserole dish works fine).

Arrange three tortillas on the chicken mixture, then top with half the remaining chicken mixture.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas and the remaining chicken mixture.

Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes or until hot.

Sprinkle on the cheese and bake uncovered for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with the remaining green onions.


Capt. John Wampler ( has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments are welcome below.