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Cook the Book: King Ranch Chicken Casserole

When it comes to America's Favorite Food (our new cookbook), you can't get much more "favorite" than Southern Living's King Ranch Chicken Casserole. When I was given the chance to write about a recipe from the book, I went straight for the "King" since it is one of our top recipes of all time and I had never given it a try. When I opened to page 77 to make a shopping list, my eyes jumped right to the "Quick Tip" box where the word "faster" caught my attention. I often cook dinner for my family of 7 on Saturdays, so with all of the yard work and other activities this time of year, it had to be as quick as possible. After looking over the recipe, I decided to speed it up by using two rotisserie chickens, since the ones at the store were fairly small, and I left out the carrots and celery to avoid some extra chopping. I also used 3/4 cup of low-sodium chicken broth since I didn't have the stock from cooking my own chicken called for in the original instructions. The casserole goes together quickly once you have the ingredients prepared, so you could make it even faster by chopping and grating the night before. I found it easiest to cut the tortillas by stacking them in piles of 6 and cutting with a pair of kitchen shears. If you like toppings, salsa and sour cream make a tasty addition if you have time to put some on the table. This recipe is also very kid-friendly, but you might want to use the mild version of canned diced tomatoes and green chiles and scale back the chili powder if you have little ones that prefer a little less heat. After a busy day working hard outside and in the kitchen, it's always good when you can make a recipe that the whole family loves! This casserole was a winner that I will definitely be making again.