Rating: 4.5 stars
66 Ratings
  • 1 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 17
  • 5 star values: 39

Recipe variations on this Texas-favorite chicken casserole abound simply because it's delicious.

Recipe by Southern Living February 2008

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
2 hrs 19 mins
additional:
40 mins
total:
3 hrs 29 mins
Yield:
Makes 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • If applicable, remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use. Rinse chicken.

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  • Place chicken, celery, carrots, and salt in a large Dutch oven with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high 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 cup cooking liquid. Strain any remaining cooking liquid, and reserve for another use.

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

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

  • Bake at 350° 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.

  • Lightened King Ranch Chicken Casserole: Reduce butter to 1 Tbsp. Substitute reduced-fat cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup for regular and 2% reduced-fat cheese for regular. Prepare recipe as directed through Step Bake, covered, at 350° for 50 minutes; uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

  • Note: For testing purposes only, we used Cracker Barrel 2% Milk Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

  • Quick-and-Easy King Ranch Chicken Casserole: Substitute 1 (2-lb.) skinned, boned, and shredded deli-roasted chicken for whole chicken, 3 cups coarsely crumbled lime-flavored white corn tortilla chips for corn tortillas, and 3/4 cup chicken broth for cooking liquid. Omit celery, carrots, and salt. Prepare recipe as directed, beginning with Step

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