Wednesday, February 13, 2008

King Ranch Chicken

Today I am making King Ranch Chicken one of my favorite dishes and one of Slick's least favorite. Sorry for him.

My first King Ranch memory is of a luncheon celebrating my super friend Duke when she was going through one of her Deb seasons and we had a lovely time eating it at the King Ranch Queen of Waco Texas' house. Since then I have made the dish on many many occasions and loved every one. I have tweaked the recipe a little over the years, but not too much for it was already wonderful.

Start with a few chicken breasts. I boil them in flavorful water including salt, bullion, onion, garlic, celery if you have it. Save the stock. Then pull the meat from the skin and bones if there are any. Today there are because the grocery store was having such a terrible sale of chicken breasts with bones and skin that I HAD to buy 30 pounds of it and now I am sorry because I hate to touch the stuff. Tear or chop the meat into smallish pieces and set aside.

Chop about a cup of yellow onion in really small dice. I prefer yellow Spanish onion when Vidalia's are not available because I think they are milder than the white ones and because that is what Lulu used when I was growing up and you know that girls almost always do stuff in the kitchen like their momma's did.

Soften the onion in a skillet with a little butta or oil for a few minutes to get it all cooked because I do NOT like crunchy onion. Add a little salt and pepper to the onion and a can or two of cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup. Add an undrained can of Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilies. If you like add an additional can of greed chilies. Stir this all up in the pot- I like to use a whisk to break up all of the lumps. Then add as much of the reserved stock as it needs to become nice and loose. Like creamy cream of cauliflower soup from the Antique Mall's Tea Room. You know- nice and creamy and not at all watery but not at all thick.

Then take 12 to 15 corn tortillas in a stack and slice them. Sometimes I do little triangles, sometimes slices and sometimes a combination of the both. Place a layer of the tortillas in a 9x13 pan- today I am using white corn tortillas because they were on sale and I thought it might be a little fancy but the yellow would work just as well.

Onto the layer of tortillas, sprinkle 1/3 of the chicken and about 1/3 of the creamy soup mixture. Top this layer with a good handful of grated cheddar cheese. I like mild but really if you have gotten this far it is obvious that you can do it any way YOU like. Then on with the tortillas again, then the chicken, soup and cheese. Do it all again finishing with the cheese.

Cover with foil and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Check to see if the cheese is melty and either keep cooking or take out and let it rest. After about 10 minutes on the counter it will be nicely set up for cutting and serving.

I like mine on the plate with a dollop of sour cream and a splash of salsa. I like a few Tostitos on the side too for scooping up the last of the sauce and to break up the texture of the casserole.

I hope you try King Ranch Chicken and that it makes you Queen of your Casa!

1 comment:

the Neighbor said...

I love this recipe and esp the sour cream and extra chips on the side!! You know i always love a good recipe! Too late to try today but maybe friday. Shocking i know but i have a plan for dinner tomorrow night!