King Ranch Casserole, the original recipe! A Texas Legend
This casserole is as famous as the Alamo, Davy Crockett, Texas Longhorn Steers, and Cowboys! However, It was not created at the famous King Ranch as legend would have it. But who cares? It's a legend on it's own, no matter who created it or where it came from.
I haven't met a Texan yet that doesn't love it! Even people that aren't Texans and live here, love it! This recipe can very easily be made in a vegetarian version..... all of us vegetarians can do the conversion! My family has this casserole for Christmas, Easter, and family supper! I really hope y'all come to Texas some day, but if you can't, then cook ya up some King Ranch Casserole and imagine you're here!
As we say in Texas, "I love me some King Ranch Casserole".
Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Casserole dish heavily buttered.
8 TBS C unsalted Butter
1 yellow Onion, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
8 ounces Button Mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 C Flour
3 1/2 C Chicken Broth (Vegetarian: Vegetarian Chicken Broth) Either Vegetarian Chicken Powder or Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base.
1/2 C Heavy Cream
3 mild Green Chiles, roasted, peeled (stems and seeds discarded), and diced
1 (10oz.) can Ro-Tel
18 Corn Tortillas
1 cooked Chicken (poached or roasted), meat shredded ( Vegetarian: Quorn Chik'n Cutlets or Chik'n Tenders) Pre browned in 2 TBS of Olive Oil)
1 C shredded Jack Cheese
1 C shredded Cheddar Cheese
(mix the two cheeses together in a bowl)
In a large skillet on medium heat:
Reduce heat to low.
Bell Pepper Garlic
Saute for 7 - 10 minutes.
Stir for 1 minute to combine well.
Flour, sprinkle in 1/2 C at a time until it's incorporated.
3 C of Broth, whisked in 1 C at a time.
Cream, whisk until incorporated.
Stir to mix well.
Place remaining 1/2 C of Broth in a shallow soup bowl.
Stack the Tortillas, 6 at a time, in the bowl of Broth to moisten them.
Line the pan with 6 Tortillas, overlapping them to fill the bottom of the pan.
Begin layering the Casserole:
1/2 of the Sauce
1/2 of the Chicken
Sprinkle with 1/3 of the Cheese
Add another layer of soaked Tortillas.
Another 1/3 Cheese
Top with remaining soaked Tortillas and finish with the remaining Cheese.
Bake for 60 minutes. It should be lightly browned and bubbling.
Remove and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.