Tuesday, January 19, 2010

King Ranch Chicken

Last night my sister and I made King Ranch Chicken for dinner. You may think that's a difficult task, considering we live hundreds of miles away from eachother!...she's in TX, I'm in FL. The story goes like this...she's been talking about this dish for quite some time, and you'd think that being born and raised in TX I would know about it, after all, it's a "Texan" dish! Somehow it had never crossed my tongue, but the more she talked about it, the more I wanted to try it. Yesterday she said she was making it for dinner, and she e-mailed me her recipe from Southern Living.

As usual, I just can't leave well enough alone, and after a couple of small changes, here is my version of King Ranch Chicken. NOTE: I only made a half recipe, so when you see my photos, just remember you'll have twice as much as what you see!


* Use a 1 or 2 pre-cooked chickens from the Deli, or purchase pre-packaged cooked chicken breast meat.

* If using store bought cooked chicken, replace the "cooking liquid" with canned chicken broth.

Serves: 8-10

For the cooked chicken:
4-5 large chicken breast halves

2 celery stalks (leaves and all),cut into large chunks
2 carrots, cut into large chunks
2 tsp. salt and fresh ground pepper

Remaining ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 minced garlic cloves
2 recipes Cream of Whatever Soup (make one with mushrooms if you desire)
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes in green chiles, drained
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Mexican style chili powder (or 1 tsp. regular chili powder + 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne)
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips.

To Cook the Chicken:
Place breasts in pot with carrots and celery, sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I used bagged frozen chicken and put it in there straight from the freezer).

Cover with water by an inch or two and bring to a boil, cover and reduce to just a simmer.
Cook 20- 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan, RESERVE 3/4 cup cooking liquid.

Let chicken cool for about 15-20 minutes, then shred with two forks (fingers work easier).
While the chicken is cooking:
prepare the Cream of Whatever Soup. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350. Heat 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil in a large skillet over med-high. Add onion and saute until soft. Add bell pepper and garlic, saute a few minutes. Add reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid,
Cream of Whatever Soup, canned tomatoes n' chilis, and spices. Cook about 8 minutes, stirring every now and again.

While that's going on, cut your tortilla into strips like this...

Now you're ready to layer it all together...First oil a 9x13 dish a little bit, then spread 1/2 the chicken in the dish...

Top with 1/2 the soup mixture...

Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese, then top with a layer of tortilla strips. Repeat that whole thing again and finally top the whole thing with that last cup of cheese (yeah, LOTS of cheese!)...

Cover with foil and pop in the oven. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes...remove foil and bake 5-10 more minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned,...like this...

Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving! YUM!
Happy Cooking!


The Real Me! said...

That looks very similar to my Mexican Chicken Casserole that everyone loved the other day. I'm making it a little different today as I was missing some ingredients. I hope it tastes as good!
Love you my friend.

Bren said...

I wondered over here from my friend Debs Garden page. I LOVE your photos and your recipe blog!

I can't wait to return to see what you share next.

Stop by my garden sometime.

Apron Senorita said...

that looks delicious. My kids love chicken and love anything King Ranch. Thanks for the recipe.


Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Sounds (and looks) really yummy!! Love all your photos!

The American Homemaker said...

That looks really yummy :)

Joyfull said...

I had this recipe a while back and lost it. Recently I did a google search for it, but found "easier" recipes which did not have all these ingredients! Thank you so much for sharing!! I can't wait to try it out!

chanise said...

I finally made this for Josh after having him talk about it for years now. It turned out great! He loved it. Thanks for sharing!

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