So, you saw all that chicken we made on Monday. And you might have wondered what we were going to do with it all. I mentioned maybe my wife whipping up some of her King Ranch Chicken Casserole. Well, today’s my lucky day!! King Ranch Chicken it is! And she even agreed to cook it on the Egg! King Ranch Chicken, for those who aren’t from Texas or might not be familiar with this dish, it is basically a chicken enchilada casserole, but it’s creamier than most. Before discussing my wife’s recipe, let’s take a look at the legend of this dish.
Sadly, the history and origin of King Ranch Chicken is unclear. While the name brings that famous south Texas ranch to mind—so large it covers more ground than the state of Rhode Island—the ranch claims no ownership on this recipe. Some believe that perhaps it was a ranch-hand that developed the dish, but this has not been proven. Then there are those who say someone tacked on the name “King Ranch” because that ranch is emblematic of the state itself in both its size and its myth. Whatever the origins of this recipe are, it can be a pretty tasty dish when done right.
While I didn’t witness my wife whip up the casserole, she did hand me the recipe (although she had to dig it out of her recipes, she can do this blind folded in her sleep), but I can’t assure you that it is exactly how she did it.
- 1 pound of chicken breast, cooked ( we obviously used the leftovers from the beer can chicken, I think she put in about 4 cups shredded)
- 12 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
- 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can of cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes
- Velveeta cheese to top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (in this case we used the Egg, set up indirect)
- Combine soups, broth, and Ro-Tel tomatoes over medium high; blend until smooth. Add extra diced jalepeno for more spice
- Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Layer 1/2 of tortillas, chicken, onion,soup mixture and cheese.
- Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Grate some extra Velveeta on top if wanted.
- Bake uncovered for one hour or until brown and bubbling.
Serves 6 hungry Texans, or 8 people
We haven’t done a lot of baking on the Egg yet. We’ve done Mac ‘n Cheese and a few other casseroles, but we haven’t worked out all the bugs. Although the recipe said to cook it at 350 for 1 hour, that didn’t quite transfer to the Egg. It was taking longer and the cheese wasn’t starting to bubble and brown like it should, so we did crank up the heat a bit in the end to speed it up. I think next time, we will shoot for 425-450 and see what happens.
As for wood, I threw in two chunks of hickory, but it really did not add much, if any smokey flavor to the dish. Might increase the amount of wood next time, but I think with the topping of cheese that it would probably stop the casserole from really taking on any smoke.
As for the beer can chickens, it really does add an extra dimension to the dish. We’ve been using leftover bcc chickens in casseroles since we started dating and really think it is a great addition. No more boiling chickens for casseroles. Why would you boil chicken? All it does is leach the flavor out of the chicken and leave you with chicken flavored water. Who wants chicken flavored water? Oh yeah….that’s called broth. Lol
Hope you enjoy as much as we did. Keep on grilling and please leave a comment.