King Ranch Chicken Casserole
1 1/2 pounds of chicken, without skin and bones
juice of one lime
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion (diced)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 poblano pepper (diced)
1 (10 oz.) can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained (or you can use a can of regular diced tomatoes and a 4 oz. can of diced green chiles, or if tomatoes are in season, use two cups of diced fresh tomatoes with 1/4 cup of diced green chiles)
4 teaspoons chili powder)
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 cup of chicken broth
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of half and half
1/3 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
3 cups of grated pepper jack or Monterrey cheese
10 corn tortillas
Salt and pepper to taste.
- Season the chicken with half of the lime juice, 2 teaspoons of chile powder and salt. Heat skillet to medium with olive oil and cook chicken on each side for about 10 minutes. (20 in all)
- When chicken is done, shred it with two forks and set aside. Taste and see if it needs more salt and pepper.
- Melt butter in a saucepan on medium; add the onions, red bell pepper and poblano pepper. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, flour, cumin, cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons of chili powder, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth and cook on low until mixture is thickened, a few minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and Ro-Tel. Cover the pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add sour cream, other half of lime juice, 1/4 cup of cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat up the tortillas. (You can do this in the microwave with tortillas wrapped in a clean, damp kitchen towel - for about 1 minute. OR by adding a bit of oil on an iron skillet and then cooking the tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side).
- Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce onto the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking pan.
- Layer half the tortillas along the bottom of the pan (on top of the sauce). To make sure entire pan is evenly covered, you can rip some of the tortillas into strips to fill any gaps.
- Add half the chicken, half the remaining sauce, half the remaining cilantro and 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese.
- Repeat the layering, leaving the cheese layer on top.
- Cook uncovered for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbling. Serves 6-12, depending on how big a portion you distribute. Goes great with sour cream and cilantro on top.