Tuesday, September 25, 2012

King Ranch Chicken - Sort of, in a way, kinda ...

A Homesick Texan's history of the King Ranch Chicken casserole is about the best I've run across -- and the recipe's great, too.  While the one I've used for years (came from an Okie, though, not a Texan) has worked well for us.

This is an extremely flexible recipe and forgiving – no ingredient amounts are given because that depends on the number of people expected and size of casserole dish.  If you are fixing for four people, use two chicken breasts and a two-quart casserole. Double that for eight to ten -- use four large chicken breasts and a 9x12 casserole.  For the large casserole, a canned chicken can be used, as well as canned cheese soup instead of shredded cheddar.  Even tortilla chips can be substituted for corn tortillas.

Each change does have an impact, but the resulting casserole will retain the flavors of Mexico and provide a quick answer from the pantry to perhaps impromptu guests.


1 – Corn tortillas, enough to layer twice
2 – Cooked and shredded chicken breasts (this can be boiled in your favorite Mexican herbs or marinated and grilled – which doesn’t shred quite as well, but can be cut into small pieces)
3 – Sauce (a creamy tomato sauce which can be made from Creamy Chicken Mushroom soup and diced tomatoes – chili-flavored diced works well)
4 – Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Layer the above twice in the casserole dish, then bake 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Serve over rice – this recipe is for eight:

2 cups uncooked rice
2 tblsp Wesson oil
3 cups Swanson chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes (a change of flavors will impact the dish – we’ve tried chili, garlic and onion)

In a skillet large enough to hold the finished rice, brown it in two tablespoons of oil, being careful not to burn.  Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.  Add the chicken broth and tomatoes.  Simmer, covered, until rice is al dente.

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