Almost every one of my many spiral bound community cookbooks contains a recipe for King Ranch Casserole. Named after one of the largest cattle ranches in Texas, but not necessarily invented there, some version of this creamy casserole can be found on pot luck tables all over south. It's easy to see why it is so popular, layers of tortillas are drenched in a cheesy sauce, spiked with chilies and loaded with chunks of chicken. The great thing about this recipe is that is does not require any precooking of the ingredients, all you have to do is open the cans, chop the vegetables and layer away. In my 10 inch dutch oven this baked with 10 coals in a ring around the bottom and 18-20 on the lid. After 30 minutes the casserole was bubbling and ready for the final cheese topping. Let it sit for a good half hour before serving so the sauce can soak into the tortillas. Like a creamier version of an enchilada pie, this is the ultimate Texas dutch oven comfort food.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel tomatoes with green chili peppers
1 (12 oz.) package corn tortillas, cut into slices
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 green OR red bell pepper, chopped
8 oz. grated Cheddar Jack cheese
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
Combine chicken soup, mushroom soup, broth, tomatoes with chilies, chili powder and garlic powder.
Layer 1/2 of tortilla strips, 1/2 the chicken, 1/2 the onion, 1/2 bell pepper and 1/2 the cheese in prepared dutch oven. Pour 1/2 of the soup mixture over the layers.
Repeat the layers of tortillas, chicken, onion and bell pepper. Pour remaining soup mixture over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until soup is bubbling and casserole is heated through.
Top with remaining cheese, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is brown and melted.
|Layer ingredients in a 10 or 12 inch dutch oven