Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quest 1.9 Tex-Mex! King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Welcome back, Apprentices! Today, we're going back to my roots with a delicious and easy Tex-Mex dish called King Ranch Chicken Casserole. What is King Ranch Chicken Casserole, you ask? Well, it's basically a creamy chicken enchilada casserole with just the right amount of kick and a whole lotta cheese! Serve it up with some refried beans, spanish rice and guacamole (don't forget the margaritas!) and it is sure to please!

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

3 Chicken Breasts & 3 Chicken Thighs - Poached & shredded
    or 1 Whole Rotisserie Chicken Shredded
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can Medium or Hot Diced Tomatoes with Peppers, Drained (Rotel or Hatch)
1 Medium Onion
Corn Tortillas 
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Cups Mixed Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheeses

Prep your chicken! Remember what we did last week with the chicken fried rice? If you're using fresh or frozen chicken, do that again! Boil your chicken in a large pot for about 45 minutes until the meat is white and juices run clear. If you bought a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, that's fine. I would recommend getting one seasoned only with salt & pepper or with garlic. Let the chicken cool and shred with a fork. Put it in a large bowl and set aside.

Pre-Heat Oven to 350ยบ

Dice your onion! Using a clean, sharp knife and a cutting board, dice your onion. Don't worry about getting the pieces too pretty. It's all going to be one delicious, mixed up masterpiece of yumminess!

Mix together chicken, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, canned tomatoes (drained), onion, Cayenne, salt & pepper. Make sure it is well combined before continuing to the next step!

Grease a 9" x 13" inch lasagna pan or a large casserole dish. Line the bottom with corn tortillas. I'm weirdly compelled to cover as much of the area of the pan as possible. You don't have to be as weird as I am. I don't recommend it at all. It makes life a little difficult. Just layer as evenly as possible.

Layer 1/2 the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas and distribute 1/2 the cheese evenly on top of the chicken mixture. Repeat, creating a second layer. You should have just enough mix and cheese for 2 nice layers in a lasagna pan.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes... remove foil and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melty and bubbly.

When done, be sure to let the casserole rest for about 10 minutes. I know, it's torture. But if you cut into it right away, all those gorgeous layers are going to spread. So, take that time to mix up some margaritas, do a shot of tequila or just stand over the pan and drool.

See! I told you it was easy! We'll revisit Tex-Mex casseroles again in the future. I have an insanely delicious Taco Casserole that I learned to make when I was a freshman in high school and I still make it to this day! We'll also explore burrito bowls, carnitas and maybe we'll even make some tortillas from scratch just for shits and giggles!


+5 Dicing
+5 Baking
+5 Boiling (If you took the time to poach your chicken)

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