Most versions of this popular entree involve Ro-Tel tomatoes and canned soup. So what if it’s not exactly gourmet fare? It’s beloved nonetheless. FYI, no one knows where the name originated, but the dish didn’t come from the King Ranch. The famed South Texas spread is known instead for its beef and game dishes.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
1 (3- to 4-lb.) broiler-fryer, cut up
1 tsp. salt
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10-oz.) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
12 corn tortillas
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack or “Mexican-style” cheese garlic powder to taste
Place chicken pieces in a large Dutch oven, add water to cover and 1 tsp. salt. Simmer, covered, about 1 hour, or until chicken is tender. When cool, remove and bone chicken, reserving broth. Cut or tear meat into small pieces; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine soups with tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and chili powder, and mix well; set aside. Heat reserved chicken broth. Tear tortillas into fourths, dip each piece in warm chicken broth, and place half the tortillas on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan or casserole. Continue layering, using half of chicken, half of soup-tomatoes mixture, and half of cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder, and repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese has melted and sides of casserole are bubbly.
From the March 2004 issue.