OH TEXAS, HOW I’VE MISSED THEE

Since it’s the Thanksgiving holiday and all, I decided to be rather traditional and travel back home for the occasion.  I, along with every Richmond area college student (rolls eyes) crammed myself in an airplane to get back to “The Lone Star State” to mingle with family & eat till I had a rather noticeable food baby.

It’s pretty intriguing, traveling back to where your from.   Makes me realize how much I’ve missed … the food.

For all you that understand the big & ridiculous hoopla over Texas culture and cuisine, maybe you’ll understand the irony of my official sign of welcome … a passing Blue Bell truck.  For those of you who don’t know what the heck I am talking about, Blue Bell is the best greatest ice cream…ever.   When I got to my parents house, I even peeked in the freezer to see if they still were up to date with stocked Blue Bell.  They were.

For dinner last night, my mom made King Ranch Chicken.  A simple Texas staple- a casserole consisting of chicken, cheese, tortillas, and 1,000 calories per serving.  I love the nostalgia of casseroles- something I never make at home but when I have it, I cherish it.

It’s something you can easily prepare and takes no time to make.  Note, this is something to make when you’re cooking for others, unless your prepping yourself for the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.  Here’s the recipe…

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers- Rotel, baby.
12 (8 inch) corn tortillas
3 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add chicken and bouillon and boil for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through (no longer pink inside). Reserve 1 cup broth. Remove chicken from pan and dice; set aside.

2. In a separate large saucepan combine reserved broth, onion, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers. Mix together and heat through, stirring often.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. In a 9×13 inch baking dish layer casserole as follows: 4 torn tortillas, 1/2 of diced chicken, 1/3 of soup mixture, more tortilla strips, remaining diced chicken, 1/3 of soup mixture, more tortilla strips and remaining soup mixture. Cover with cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.
It’s pretty amazing and if you want to get creative- this recipe begs for additions like peppers, chilies, or chili.  Make it your own.
Enjoy.
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