Saturday, March 26, 2011

Texas Ranch Chicken Casserole

This is a Texan twist on the traditional King Ranch Chicken Casserole.

Makes 8 servings

*1 large yellow onion, chopped
*2 celery ribs, finely chopped
*1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
*1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
*1 Tablespoon canola oil
*1 garlic clove, minced
*3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed (I boil frozen ones in water until no longer pink)
*1 can (10 3/4 oz.) 98% fat free cream of celery soup
*1 can (10 3/4 oz.) 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
*1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel is one brand)
*1 Tablespoon chili powder
*1 teaspoon salt + 5 dashes
*5 dashes black pepper
*cooking spray
*12 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 1-inch strips
*2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

(To cook the chicken, I fill a stock pot with water.  Put 3 dashes of salt in the water.  Once boiling, add frozen chicken breasts and boil until no longer pink inside.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, add oil.  Add celery, onion, and peppers.  Sprinkle with 2 dashes of salt and 5 dashes black pepper.  Saute celery, onion, and peppers until tender.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken, soups, diced tomatoes, chili powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Spray a rectangular casserole dish with cooking spray.  Line half of the tortilla strips on the bottom.  Top with half of the chicken mixture.  Top with 1 cup of cheese.  Repeat layering.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly.

*Note:  Add jarred pickled jalapenos, seeded, to make this dish even more Texan.  I leave this out when making this for my family.  If I make this just for my husband and I, then the jalapenos would be fine.  They would be too hot for my two year old.