Adopt Me, Texas! – King Ranch Casserole
As much as I love Texas, you’d think I’d been there more than once. You’d think I’d spent that one trip doing more than staying in my hotel and going to one mall. If you knew how much I loved Texas, you’d swear I had family there (besides my adopted Brother in insanity, Bill Gent) or had spent summers there as a child.
The fact is, I’ve spent a grand total of three days in Dallas in 2004, riding a bus for twelve hours to get there. It was the farthest I’d ever traveled from home and it was a grand adventure for me. I couldn’t wait to see my personal version of a foreign land and it was all I could do to wait on getting my luggage off the bus before setting off to meet a real live Texan!
My first real live Texan was a young man who held open the door for me as I entered the hotel. I greeted him with a BIG grin “Hey, how are you?”
“Good ma’am, and yourself?”
My heart sank in disappointment “Well shoot” I thought, “They talk just like we do.”
Y’all gotta keep in mind that I don’t get out much here, I can fully see how me expecting Texas to be a foreign land is a bit unreasonable but in over thirty years it was the furthest I’d traveled (I hadn’t even flown at that point) so I had three decades of expectations riding on this.
I’m not sure what I expected out of the great State of Texas, but my disappointment at the similar (pretty much identical) accent was quickly replace with a marvel at how similar this massive place was to my home. Texas must be Alabama’s big brother, I decided after that first day, and then spent the rest of the time grinning happily in contentment at finding the world twelve hours from home every bit as warm and welcoming as it was in my neck of the woods.
So when Jacqueline emailed me about putting a King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe on the site, I wanted to do it sooner rather than later as homage to the great state it originated from. I dearly hope I get to return there this fall on my book tour, maybe I’ll get to see a little more of it this time! Until then I can enjoy this gooey, cheesy, chickeny concoction all spiced up with the best of seasonings. This is a great casserole because you can make it the night ahead of time and store it in your fridge to pop in the oven right before supper.
I always say I claim dual citizenship with Tennessee because I’ve never lived more than ten minutes from the Tennessee state line all of my life, but if y’all Texans would allow me, I’d like to add a third “country” to my personal passport and claim part Texan, too! Reckon I could get adopted? I’d be a good little step child, honest!
You’ll need: Chicken, Diced Tomatoes, Chopped Green chilies, Cream of Chicken, Cream of Mushroom, Cheese, Corn Tortillas, and chopped onions.
*There are several ways to get your chicken for this, my favorite is leftovers. I also like to buy a ten pound bag of leg quarters and boil them until done, then shred all of the chicken and freeze in small portions to toss in casseroles, dumplings, and stews. Today, though, we went with canned chicken, which is usually pretty expensive. I got this for $2.00 a can and it was one of those days where I’d been running around all morning and really felt it was worth spending the extra money to save time.
You can use fat free cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup if you like.
You’re also gonna need a few spices: Chili powder, pepper, salt, and garlic powder.
Because everything tastes better with chili and garlic powder, right?
Most folks don’t have to think about making salt and pepper shakers camera ready but mine got a little bath for this photo.
Pour a little bit of oil in a large skillet, about two tablespoons.
Add in your onions
and saute those, stirring often, until browned a bit.
Then dump in your chilies, cream soups, drained tomatoes, and chicken.
Y’all likely haven’t seen these measuring spoons before because I’ve never used them before. I picked them up at an antique mall several years back and thought they were pretty so I hung them up with some copper molds on my kitchen wall. Well lo and behold, I couldn’t find a single measuring spoon for this post. Don’t get me wrong, I have them all over the place – but I can never find them when I need them! I got frustrated looking and glanced up on the wall to find these. A quick washing and I was off to the races.
I always think of how nice it would be if someone just mailed me a set of measuring spoons and cups every week . Even at that pace, I’d still lose the little suckers and be waiting on my package at week’s end!
Cook this on medium heat until heated through and bubbly, just a few minutes.
Tear half of your tortillas up into little pieces and layer them in the bottom of a 9×13 dish.
Little side note here: I really don’t like the taste of corn tortillas. In fact, I don’t like anything at all about corn tortillas, BUT I love this casserole so those of you who share my aversion to them can rest easy that the finished product of King Ranch is delicious!
Spread half of your chicken mixture over that.
and sprinkle with half your cheese
Add the rest of your corn tortillas, all torn up
Then glob the rest of your chicken mixture over that
Smear it around…
and more cheese!
Lots of folks make their King Ranch casseroles in three layers, but I just do two.
If you wanna do three go right ahead. Whatever cranks yer tractor.
Two does it for me
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about thirty minutes, until lightly browned around the edges and your stomach is growling from the smell.
*Can use fat free
Can assemble this the night before, store in the fridge, and bake when you get home!
The stars at night, are big and bright.. ~clap clap clap clap~ ….
It’s Spring Break, do you know whats in your freezer?
It’s spring break at my house and as it turns out, I’m not the only one who has been busy in the kitchen. The kids have created a new sport of freezing toys in cups…apparently it is quite fun.
It started out with one but when I opened the freezer today…
This is just what is in the door
I don’t know what this My Little Pony did, but I sure do hope I never get Katy Rose mad…
Lego men be afraid – be VERY afraid
They ran out of room in the door, so Gumby was waving at me from the ice bin
Poor guy, valiant to the end.
~shakes her head~ He almost made it, too…
I hope you’ve had a great week. Mine has been filled with lots of work and little sleep so I’ m going to disconnect as best I can tomorrow and hope to get some time in with my kidders. Sunday is the last photo shoot for the book, we’re working on the cover so I’ll keep you posted. I’m going to have ye olde husband take photos during the shoot to share with you on our Southern Plate Family Page on Facebook so we should have those uploaded Sunday night, be sure to hop on over and join us there!
I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think,
all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read,
and all the friends I want to see.
– John Burroughs
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