King Ranch Chicken Casserole

  • 4 Large chicken breasts
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into 3 pieces each
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 2  Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium -size  bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic, pressed
  • 1 (10  & 3/4.oz.)can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2  (10 cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 1 tsp.dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican-style chili powder *
  • 3 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 12 ( 6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips

Directions:

1. Place chicken, celery, carrots and salt in a large pot or Dutch oven with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 50 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove from heat. Remove chicken from broth: cool 30 minutes. Remove and reserve 3/4 cooking liquid.  Strain any remaining cooking liquid and reserve for another use.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over med. to high heat. Add onion and saute 6 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add bell pepper and garlic and saute 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid, cream of mushroom soup and next 5 ingredients,stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.

3. Skin and bone chicken; Shred meat into bite size pieces. Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 13 X 9 inch baking pan. Top with soup mixture. and 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Cover with half of corn tortilla strips. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes  to 1 hour or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

* 1 tsp. chili powder and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper may be substituted for Mexican style chili powder.

About Peggy

Peggy Chaney was best known as cook and co-owner of Peggy's Restaurant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina (which she and her sister, Loretta, ran for over two decades). You can find her pages on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. One of eleven siblings, she was the daughter of a Baptist preacher, and was well remembered for her kind spirit and regard for others. Her genuine warmth and grace is sorely missed.

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