Thursday, January 28, 2021

King Ranch Casserole

Dang Netflix.  It is a bit addicting with that little “next episode starts in 5, 4, 3…”.  Ok, just one more episode and the next thing you know, it’s midnight.  David and I are now binge watching Cobra Kai, which is The Karate Kid 40 years later.  We are chuckling our way through it – ahh the 80’s.  The kids tolerate our latest nightly ritual.   

Know what else is yesteryear?  A potluck.  Dr. Fauci would not approve right now.  This King Ranch casserole was dubbed by Texas Monthly as the “Lord of the potluck.”  Despite the fact that it takes a while to assemble and an hour to cook (so plan ahead), this dish will enter our repertoire and serve as a nice alternative to other family favorites, like chicken enchilada verde casserole and chicken chilaquiles.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves (or 2 teaspoons) garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 - 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 - 10 oz can Ro-Tel
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • 1 cooked chicken (poached or roasted), meat shredded, approximately 4 cups
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar, divided

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté on medium-low about 7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until the white is no longer visible. Whisk in 3 cups of the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir in chiles and tomatoes.

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter or spray with Pam. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of chicken stock into a bowl. Stack the tortillas in the bowl, 6 at a time, to moisten, then line the bottom of the pan with the tortillas, making sure they overlap each other by about one third. Cover the tortillas with half the sauce. Add half the chicken (@2 cups) and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of each type of cheese. Add a second layer of soaked tortillas, the remaining sauce and chicken, and another third of the cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas and cheese.

Bake for about an hour, until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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