My collection of shredded chicken, from leftover roasted chickens, was growing and I wanted to use some of it to clear some space in my freezer. (Ice cream season is coming and I will need that space!) After searching around for a while I came across the concept of a king ranch chicken casserole which sounded really good. A chicken ranch casserole seems to be a creamy chicken casserole with texmex flavours that is layered like a lasagna using corn tortillas. I had been thinking about doing something with a creamy poblano sauce for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to.
Most of the recipes that I came across called for canned creamed soups to form the base of the sauce but I was determined to do it without them. I started by sauteing the vegetables in more butter than I would normally use so that I could sprinkle in some flour to form a roux and thicken the chicken stock. I finished the creamy part of the casserole off with some milk and sour cream for a bit of tanginess. For the texmex flavours, I used those poblano peppers and some jalapeno peppers, canned chopped green chilies, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano and cilantro. With all of the chili heat in the dish I thought that some corn would go well to take the edge off. Of course it is really hard to not top off a texmex dish like this with some ooey gooey melted cheese.
The king ranch chicken casserole was easy to make and it was super tasty! I over filled my baking dish and some of the sauce bubbled over. Luckily I always bake things like this on a baking sheet so I was saved from having to clean up a big mess in the oven. The chicken casserole was nice and creamy and cheesy and good! This dish is packed with so many of the texmex flavours that I like so much and it sure is a winner in my books. I am looking forward to enjoying the leftovers for lunches over the next few days.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 red pepper (chopped)
- 1 poblano pepper (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 jalapenos (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin (toasted and ground)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 2 cups chicken (cooked and shredded)
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 cup corn
- 1 lime (juice)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 corn tortillas
- 2 cups cheese (grated)
- Melt the butter in a pan.
- Add the onion, red pepper and poblano pepper and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic jalapenos, chili powder and cumin and saute unto fragrant, about a minute.
- Mix in the flour and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and simmer until the liquid thickens.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, green chilies, milk and oregano and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the corn, lime juice, sour cream, cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan.
- Top with a layer formed with 1/2 of the tortillas.
- Top with a layer of 1/2 of the the sauce.
- Top with a layer of 1/2 of the the cheese.
- Top with a layer of the remaining tortillas.
- Top with a layer of the remaining sauce.
- Top with a layer of the remaining cheese.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the sides are bubbling and the top is golden brown.