Monday, December 20, 2010

King Ranch Chicken

Waldemar girls - get ready to drool, because you know what I'm talking about. Growing up, King Ranch Chicken was an absolute star dish at girl's camp on Saturdays. Soupy would ring, and girls would sprint to the Dining Hall, hoping to be first to enter the screen doors to get a break from the Texas heat. Back for siesta we would walk, stuffed, and ready for a mid-summers nap.

Am I right?

Well today, in the spirit of Texas nostalgia, I couldn't get this dish out of my mind. Though it's anything but a hot Texas summer day here in Cambridge today, King Ranch Chicken was calling my name. I needed to make something warm... cozy... comforting for my Hubby who was feeling under the weather. What better dish than this? It's equal parts creamy, spicy and delicious. Sure to satisfy hungry tummies everywhere, any time of year.

Warm it up in the winter with soft flour tortillas. Cool it down in the summer with a crisp wedge salad.

You just can't go wrong with this. From Hubby's Southern Living cookbook.

1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp veg. oil
2 C cooked chicken, chopped/shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup (shhh!)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (double shhh!)
1 can Rotel (tomato and green chile)
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cumin (my special addition)
6 flour tortillas (this is where SL and I disagree... flour is much more hearty for this big-flavor dish. Plus, that's the way we ate it at camp)
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Pat of butter to grease baking dish

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook chicken (however you want... make sure it is seasoned and tender).
In large skillet over medium heat (maybe even your dutch oven), saute green bell pepper and onion until tender.
Chop/shred chicken once cooked (I used my shears to get it down to small bites) and add to onion/bell pepper.
Add cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, Rotel, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin to the chicken/onion/bell pepper.
Stir together over medium/low heat.
Lightly butter a 9x13 baking dish.
Tear tortillas into 1" strips and line the bottom of the baking dish.
Next, add 1/2 the King Ranch Chicken mixture and then cover with 1/2 the amount of cheese.
Repeat this two times (to make two total layers).
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy! SL says you can freeze this for up to a month, which rules, so take advantage! As for me, no more cooking till we get to Dallas later this week. This recipe makes a ton!


  1. I can't believe I was born and raised in Texas and I've never tried this. I may have to try this dish out, looks heavenly!

  2. Thanks for this Hallie, I was looking for my Waldemar food craving fix!



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