If you are a Texan, chances are you have had your share of King Ranch Chicken Casserole. If you are not a Texan, chances are you are like “WTF is King Ranch Chicken?”. I realize it sounds like a limited-time special at BK, but trust me when I say you can’t get much more comforting, down-home deliciousness than this stuff.
Like most good southern casseroles, pretty much every classic recipe calls for some variety of Campbell’s “Cream of ______” soup. While I am certainly not above such ingredients and know they make for a tasty casserole, I think it’s more fun and really simple to make my own cream sauce. In researching for this recipe, I found a great non-canned soup version from the Homesick Texan. I sort of adapted it into my own, although I changed things and added a bunch of Royito’s, so I guess you could say I “adapted” it in the same way that 90′s Demi Moore remake of The Scarlett Letter was adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel. Except that my version is actually good and doesn’t involve any gratuitous nudity. Unless you want it to, of course.
Anyway, here’s how it’s done:
Now eat up, y’all.
Royito’s King Ranch Chicken Casserole
1 whole rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
1 white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup half & half
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 lb grated cheddar cheese
1/2 lb grated colby jack cheese
2 cups (1 16-oz. jar) Royito’s Hot Sauce
12 corn tortillas
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, melt butter and saute onion and peppers for about 5-7 minutes until softened. Toss in garlic and flour, stir, and let cook for another minute. Pour in chicken stock and cream and stir constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens, then reduce heat to low. Now add chicken, sour cream and cajun seasoning and the chicken mixture is complete.
Now start layering in a 10 x 13 in. casserole dish. Start with about 1/2 cup Royito’s on the bottom, then put 4 tortillas on top of that. Spread half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, followed by half of the cheese blend. Now start again with another layer of Royito’s (about 3/4 cup), 4 more tortillas, the rest of the chicken mixture, the rest of the jar of Royito’s, and the remaining cheese.
Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes until bubbling on all sides and the top has started to brown. Take out of the oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes to set.