Tag Archives: comfort food

Mom’s Recipe Box: King Ranch Casserole

Mom's Recipe Box  Queen of Everything

My mom passed away when I was 12 after a long, LONG fight with cancer. I am the oldest of three kids, so I have memories and remember things that my brother and sister don’t. One of the things I have of my mom’s is her old recipe box. It is hideous. I’m pretty positive she painted it herself in a fit of crafting at some point. As ugly as it is, I will never, ever change it because it was hers. Inside that box is my childhood. Mom was kind of a health nut, but sometimes she just enjoyed comfort food and casseroles – especially King Ranch Casserole. That is the kind of food I remember having growing up, and to this day, I find my favorite comfort food recipes in her recipe box. It is one of my most treasured possessions – her handwriting, her notes on the cards – you can really “know” someone by looking at their recipe box! 

This was one of her favorite recipes, and we had it a lot growing up, because it is so easy and all of us liked it (no small feat in our family)! This is not a “new” or “secret” family recipe – I feel quite sure that most people have made/eaten a variation of this casserole. I’ve made it just like she did for so long, I keep the ingredients on hand at all times. I introduced my husband to it, and now he requests it quite often! Now, this is in no way healthy and I do not claim that it is. I am not a fan of “cream of” soups, but sometimes it is just a matter of convenience! I also think that this tastes even better the next day – it reheats very well. 

King Ranch Casserole
A Mexican casserole - perfect for any night you need a quick meal.
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Ingredients
  1. Shredded chicken, cooked and shredded/cubed (I use 2-3 chicken breasts)
  2. 12 corn tortillas
  3. 1 can Ro-tel
  4. 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  5. 1 can cream of chicken soup
  6. Chili powder
  7. 8 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, Ro-tel, cream of mushroom soup, and cream of chicken soup. Stir until everything is combined.
  3. Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with tortillas. I generally rip mine in half and/or quarters - no good reason, it's just how I've always done it. Spoon half of the chicken mixture into the dish, spread to cover the tortillas. Put a second layer of tortillas on top of that, and spoon the remaining chicken mixture to cover that layer. Sprinkle with chili powder to taste. Cover top with shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Notes
  1. * Did you know that you can use your Kitchenaid mixer to shred chicken breasts? Just put a (cooked) chicken breast in the bowl, use the paddle attachment, and turn it on 1 or 2 for about 30 seconds or until it is shredded to your liking. Sometimes I cut them in half before doing this, but sometimes I don't - I've never had a problem either way. Just make sure you don't let it go for too long or you will have chicken mush. I learned that little tip from Pinterest a couple of years ago and it has been SO helpful!
  2. * This time, I used flour tortillas instead of corn and taco seasoning instead of chili powder. I prefer it this way, but my husband likes it the original way. Both taste great!
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Tried and True  Queen of Everything

French Onion Chicken

French Onion Chicken  Queen of Everything

I’ve been making French Onion Chicken for many, many years now. Sometimes I will get the craziest craving for it (tonight, for example!) and won’t be able to stop thinking about it until I make it. The rice has the BEST flavor… I’ve often wondered if I could just make the rice and not even worry about the chicken – because that’s what I really love about this recipe. The rice, the rice, the rice. 

I started making this back when my husband (then boyfriend) moved in together. This was one of those “I’m going to impress him” meals – and it worked, I guess, because he’s still hanging around! I used to have to drain the onions for his half, but he’s grown up and realized that they really do add flavor to the chicken and rice. Enjoy!

French Onion Chicken
Serves 4
French Onion Chicken is so easy to put together - you can have it in the oven in 5 minutes if you try! Leftovers from this dish are excellent.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 chicken breasts
  2. 1 cup Minute Rice
  3. 1 stick margarine or butter
  4. 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  5. 1 can French Onion soup
  6. 1/2 can milk
Instructions
  1. Melt the margarine in a 9×13 pan as the oven preheats to 350. Once it is melted and the oven is preheated, pour the dry, uncooked rice on top of the melted margarine and mix it together. Spread evenly across the bottom of the pan as best you can.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice. Mix together the cream of mushroom soup + 1/2 can milk. Pour over chicken. Pour the French Onion soup over that.
  3. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Mine usually takes about 45.
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