King Ranch Chicken Casserole

1  (4 1/2- to 5-lb. ) Whole chicken (I prefer boneless chicken breasts)
2  Celery ribs, cut into 3 pieces each
2  Carrots, cut into 3 pieces each
2 1/2 to 3  tsp. salt
2  Tbsp. butter
1  Medium onion, chopped
1  Medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
1  Garlic clove, pressed
1  (10 3/4-oz.)  Can cream of mushroom soup
1  (10 3/4-oz.)  Can cream of chicken soup
2  (10-oz.)  Cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
1  tsp. Dried oregano
1  tsp.  Ground cumin
1/8  tsp. Ground Red Pepper
1  tsp. chili powder
3  Cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
12  (6-inch) Fajita-size corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips

If applicable, remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use. Rinse chicken.

Place chicken, celery, carrots, and salt in a large Dutch oven with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 50 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove from heat. Remove chicken from broth; cool 30 minutes. Remove and reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Strain any remaining cooking liquid, and reserve for another use.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 6 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add bell pepper and garlic, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid, cream of mushroom soup, and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.

Skin and bone chicken; shred meat into bite-size pieces. Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of soup mixture and 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Cover with half of corn tortilla strips. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake at 350° F for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

About Delicious Goodies

Love life, the outdoors, photography, reading, cooking, baking, spending time with family. Just a girl next door in what I call paradise - Southern California. By no means a professional cook, I do enjoy cooking, trying new recipes and sharing with others. I hope you enjoy what you find here! I have one Vegan in the family, so we are always making two meals, rather fun, and it allows us to try new ideas. When I was in Middle School I use to help my Grandmother make cookie canisters - every year at Christmas we would make an assortment of cookies, breads, candy and put them in a wrapped canister and give them as gifts. I still enjoy this idea, although haven't done it that much - at least not an assortment of goodies. I think this year will be the year I go back to that idea and see how everyone likes it. Have a wonderful week, and spread kindness everywhere you go!
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