King Ranch Chicken (Cotton Country Collection Cookbook)

READY IN: 4hrs 30mins
SERVES: 8-10


  • 3 -4
    lbs hen (I usually use leg quarters because "dark meat" produces the best results.)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1
    onion, chopped
  • 1
    large bell pepper, chopped (For ease of preparation, I finally broke down and purchased a frozen vegetable seasoning blend when )
  • 1
    (10 ounce) can mushroom soup (cream of)
  • 1
    (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 12
    lb cheddar cheese, grated (Cool tip ( I discovered if you freeze extra sharp cheese(and you do want to use the sharpest Cheddar)
  • garlic salt
  • 12 -24
    frozen tortillas (yellow corn)
  • 1
    (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies, undrained (I used 2 cans the last time to better cover the top.)


  • Boil hen (leg quarters) until tender in water seasoned with onion, celery, salt and pepper.
  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and reserve all stock. (I usually freeze the chicken until ready to make the casserole and freeze the stock in separate containers to use not only for this recipe but all recipes that I use that involve chicken stock/broth.).
  • Chop onion and bell pepper (or remove the frozen stuff from the freezer), combine soups (I usually put in the chili powder and garlic salt in this step because otherwise the putting together of the casserole gets messier), and grate cheese (see above note in ingredients).
  • Just before putting casserole together, soak the frozen tortillas in boiling chicken stock until wilted. (You will probably need around 10-12 tortillas for the batch. They do not need to soak very long, or they will become mush!).
  • Start layering casserole in a 9x12 inch baking dish (or a disposable aluminum casserole pan) in this order: Tortillas "dripping with stock", chicken, onion, bell pepper, sprinkling to taste with chili powder and garlic salt (see above note), soup mixture and cheese. Repeat the layers, being sure the tortillas are ozzing (I know it's a typo, but that typo is one of the reasons why I love this recipe) with the stock.
  • Cover the casserole with the Rotel tomatoes and all the juice.
  • Juices in the casserole should be about half of the depth of the dish, if not add a little more stock.
  • May be made and frozen several days ahead (or make two and freeze one), but always make at least one day ahead and refrigerate so that the flavors will blend.
  • Bake casserole uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes (It may take a bit longer). Serves 8 to 10.
  • Secret: a well-seasoned stock.