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King Ranch Chicken {The Perfect Casserole}

King Ranch Chicken, tortillas, chicken, peppers, creamy sauce layered together in this Classic Southern casserole.  You might say, King Ranch Chicken is the perfect casserole!


King Ranch Chicken is a family favorite.  It's probably the best combination of Mexican flavors in a casserole of all time.  

My family adores this casserole.  My recipe for King Ranch Chicken is one of those recipes that feed an army.  You can make two pans.  Most of the time, if I am making a casserole and going to the trouble of chopping and mixing.   Why not, make two?

Serve one King Ranch Chicken Casserole and freeze the other or take one to someone that is coming home with a new baby or a family celebrating their loved one's eternal homecoming.

I love to take one to a neighborhood potluck party as well.

King Ranch Chicken, tortillas, chicken, peppers, creamy sauce layered together in this Classic Southern casserole.  You might say, King Ranch Chicken is the perfect casserole!

I must say though I see several different ingredient combinations in cookbooks and on blogs.  I like a certain creaminess and flavor combo that I only get in my recipe.

I like to make my recipe with a combination of chicken thighs and chicken breast.  I cook them in water and the same seasonings as the creamy sauce.  

My Mother always taught me to layer the seasoning when you cook casseroles, soups, and stews, starting with the meat ingredient.  She said you never can get the meat the full flavor of the seasonings in the meat after you cook it no matter how much you season it.  

Just a little secret I am passing on to you.


What you will need for the recipe:

  • Large Dutch oven
  • 1 Large whole chicken, cooked, deboned and cut into medium pieces (or 1 rotisserie chicken) (4 cups in all)
  • Very Large Mix bowl
  • Large spatula
  • 2 Foil pans 12 1/2" x 10 1/2" (or 2 9" x 13" casserole dishes)  Or 1 large foil pan 191/2" x 11 1/2" 
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • chicken broth reserved from cooked chicken (or 1 cup canned chicken broth)
  • sour cream
  • can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • cream of chicken soup (or homemade)
  • large onion
  • large green bell pepper
  • large red bell pepper
  • chili powder
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • corn tortillas
  • shredded cheddar cheese
King Ranch Chicken, tortillas, chicken, peppers, creamy sauce layered together in this Classic Southern casserole.  You might say, King Ranch Chicken is the perfect casserole!





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Yield: 20-24

King Ranch Chicken

Tortillas, chicken, peppers, creamy sauce layered together in this Classic Southern casserole. You might say, King Ranch Chicken is the perfect casserole!

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 1 large whole chicken cooked in the same seasoning as in the casserole*, deboned and cut into medium pieces, (or 1 whole rotisserie chicken)  4 cups in all (Reserve the broth)
  • 24 corn tortillas (torn in 1" pieces)
  • 2 cups reserved broth (or 2 cups can broth)
  • 4 cans cream of chicken soup (or homemade)
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder*
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder*
  • 2 teaspoons salt*
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper*
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.  Spray pans with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a very large bowl add 2 cups broth, soups, sour cream, and tomatoes with green chilies.  Stir and mix well with a large spatula.
  3. Sprinkle season on the mixture, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Again stir and mix well with a large spatula
  4. Add chicken to creamy sauce.  Stir and mix well with a large spatula.
  5. If you are making two pans follow the instruction for one pan and do the same to the second pan.
  6. Arrange a single thin layer of the torn tortilla across the bottom of a foil pan.  Spoon a third of the creamy chicken mixture over the torn tortillas.
  7. Sprinkle a thin layer of shredded cheese over the creamy chicken mixture.
  8. Repeat this two more times.  Ending with a thin layer of shredded cheese. 
  9. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly or until knife inserted in the center of the casserole and comes out hot. 

notes

The recipe can easily be cut in half to make one pan.  Follow the baking instructions accordingly.

The recipe can easily be frozen for serving later.  Follow the baking instructions accordingly.

The chicken can be substituted with the following:

8  skinless, boneless chicken breast
3  bone-in chicken breast + 2 bone-in chicken thighs + 2 drumsticks
1  large rotisserie chicken (SAMs or Costco are the best)

The corn tortillas may be substituted with the following:

 24  fajita size flour tortillas
 1  large family size bag of Doritos (broken up)




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