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King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Look at this photo.  Just look at it.

I’m not going to tell you what it looks like to me because I don’t want to bias you against this dish any more than you already have been by looking at the ugly thing.

All I have to say is, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  The most delicious apples I’ve ever had were hand-picked in an organic orchard and were quite pathetic to look at, and sometimes a shiny red apple has a rotten core.  Things aren’t always how they appear.

This casserole is one of those things.  I guarantee the flavor totally makes up for the lack of eye appeal.  It’s got the layered concept of a lasagna, but with ingredients more akin to creamy chicken enchiladas.  Incidentally, it doesn’t taste like either of those things.  It tastes like King Ranch Chicken Casserole and you’ll just have to make it to taste it for yourself and discover that beauty can be found in flavor, even if it isn’t present visually.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Adapted from Homesick Texan

2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 t cumin
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t salt
10 (6”) corn tortillas
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of mushroom soup (fat-free is fine)
1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of chicken soup (fat-free is fine)
1 (14.5 oz) can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. of chile powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.  (My 9×13 dish fit this perfectly.)

Cook the chicken breasts in a skillet over medium heat with either water or a little oil.  Sprinkle half the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt on one side and put the other half on when you turn them.  Once cooked through, shred and set aside.

Combine soups, Ro-Tel tomatoes and chile powder; blend until smooth.

Place a layer of tortillas in the casserole dish, then half the chicken, onion, bell pepper, cheese & sauce.  Repeat layers with the remaining half of everything, except end with the cheese on top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.

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