My good, good, friend Erin introduced me to King Ranch Casserole years ago when we were single girls living in Charleston. She is from Texas and this is a Texas staple. Many years have passed, now we have husbands and children, and I still love eating King Ranch Casserole. Whole Foods makes a mean King Ranch and whenever we go there for dinner, I always have some. It is not something you can eat every day, but every once in awhile it hits the spot. This is not a traditional version, but I think that even a Texan or two will like this.
These days, I don’t eat cream soups that come out of a can. I really just cannot bring myself to do it. And sadly, lots of casseroles call for a can of cream of something soup. I created this recipe to 1. get rid of the cream of something soup problem and 2. to lighten it up so that you can eat it more than once in awhile. Happily, this recipe delivers both the taste and richness, but far less fat.
4 chicken breasts cooked
3 Tablespoons butter
1 diced onion
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 small can green chiles
1 can Rotel
1 package corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese (I like the Mexican blend from Trader Joe’s)
This is my favorite way to cook chicken for a recipe like this. Put the chicken in a large pot with a few carrots, celery, salt, and peppercorns.
Cover the pot with water and bring to a bubble, then turn the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Drain the chicken out and let cool. Take the chicken off of the bone and shred.
Saute the onions in the butter over medium heat until soft.
Add the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Cook for another minute.
Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a bubble, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the Rotel tomatoes and the green chilies. Simmer for a few more minutes.
Cut the tortillas into quarters. Line 1/3 of them on the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
Layer the chicken and sauce on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese.
You should end up with 2 chicken layers, and three tortilla layers. Top with cheese.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Even though this is not Texas Erin’s King Ranch Casserole, it is still really delicious and everyone in my family loved it. No easy feat.