Sunday, December 09, 2012

Southern Living: King Ranch Chicken Casserole

This may be my favorite casserole.  It's spicy and creamy and chickeny.  Okay, so chickeny probably isn't a word.  But this casserole is really, really good.  How could it not be covered in that much cheese?  And if you make it pretty spicy, make sure you have sour cream on hand for fire extinguishing duty.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Adapted from Southern Living magazine, November 2000

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (10¾-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10¾-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sauté chicken, onion, and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender.  Stir in next 7 ingredients; remove from heat.

Cut each tortilla into four wedges. Create a thin layer of chicken mixture in the bottom of a lightly-greased 13x9-inch baking dish.  Layer 24 tortilla wedges over the chicken sauce, then top with ⅔ cup cheese.  Top with half of remaining chicken mixture, remaining 24 tortilla wedges, and another ⅔ cup cheese.  Top with remaining chicken mixture and then remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Note: Freeze casserole for up to 1 month, if desired.  Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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