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Monday, March 22, 2010

King Ranch Chicken -

I've had several requests to hand out the recipe for my version of our families King Ranch Chicken.  I figured that instead of emailing it, I could just post it here and be done :)


King Ranch Chicken

Drake Family Style

Serves 10-12

Freezes well so make it all and stash some for later.  


1.    One medium size whole frying chicken.
2.    Low sodium Chicken broth (enough to cover the chicken in a large cook pot ~ 8 cups)
3.    Chicken seasonings -parsley, sage, basil etc - or an Italian style herb mix
4.    16 Oz Cheddar Block or 6 cups shredded
5.    16 Oz Monterray Jack block or 6 cups shredded 
6.    and 8 Oz block Monterrey Jack
7.    8 Oz Sour Cream
8.    1/2 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
9.    1/2 bag of frozen sweet corn (not on cob)
10. 1 onion - diced
11. 1 cup diced mushrooms
12. 1 jar of green salsa (medium spice lends a mild dish due to other ingredients)
13. 1 large or two small cans of diced tomatoes -or- 3 large fresh tomatoes diced
14. 1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
15. 2 -3 cups Corn Chip pieces

Particular Cooking Utensils 

·         Large Cooking pot
·         2 Large casserole dishes
·         Large cooking spoon


·         Clean and rinse the chicken
  • Shred the 16 Oz Blocks of cheese
·         Thin Slice the 8 Oz of Monterrey jack 
·         Dice onions & mushrooms
·         Dice tomatoes (if fresh)


·         Cover the bottom of two casserole dishes with a small layer of corn chip pieces
·         Sprinkle shredded Monterrey jack and 1/2 of the cheddar in a layer on the corn chip pieces
·         Boil chicken until done.  Season with parsley, sage, basil etc.  
o    Typical whole thawed frier takes 45 min to 1 hour depending on size.  
·         Remove the chicken from the broth to cool
o    Save chicken broth for other recipes
o    Keep the pot ready to use
o    You can cook the chicken well in advance of other steps to allow time to cool the chicken.
·         De-bone Chicken
·         Sauté in a large pot the diced onions and mushrooms with a bit of oil or butter.  
·         Preheat oven to 350
·         Once onions are soft: add the frozen vegetables and tomatoes; cook uncovered on high until bubbling (~5 min) - do not add any liquid
·         Add Chicken pieces, green salsa, cream of mushroom soup and heat until warm - not fully cooked
·         Remove from heat and add sour cream
·         Spoon chicken veggie mixture over the chip & cheese layers in the bottom of the casserole dishes
·         Sprinkle top with rest of the shredded cheddar
·         Lay the thinly sliced Monterrey jack over the top of everything and cover the entire dish
·         Bake 15 minutes uncovered at 350

Serve Hot

Troubleshooting/ Tips & Tricks

When in doubt – add more cheese – I’ve used upwards to 1.5 the amounts cited above

Lightly grease the pans if you want the casserole to come up quickly and clean up easily. 

You can use/add/substitute frozen chicken breasts if you have a small chicken or just a bag of frozen chicken to work with.  It doesn’t even have to be boiled – just cooked and cut into bite sized pieces.  Grilled chicken might be a very good option

Stale chips work well for this recipe – I like to use that crushed pile of chips at the bottom of an old bag that no-one is willing to eat. 

Smash larger chip pieces into smaller to ensure good coverage of bottom of baking dish

If your dish is soupy:
·         Try adding the salsa to the onion & mushroom sauté and cooking off some of the liquid
·         Drain the can of tomatoes a bit before adding

To Spice it up:
·         Use a hot salsa
·         Add red pepper flakes to the sauté

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