Hot!King Ranch Chicken?

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2005/08/01 00:53:18 (permalink)

King Ranch Chicken?

So, what's with KRC? I just looked at a copy of "Texas Monthly" listing things "truly Texas" and it mentioned this "bland" (?) chicken dish. I also did a search here which had KRC on "pot-luck" food. Something about fritos, creamed soup and chicken.
So it it "THE" Texas food? It is yummy or not so much?
#1

33 Replies Related Threads

    nvb
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2005/08/01 10:03:14 (permalink)
    I'll not say it is "the" Texas food, but it is a popular dish here. With Ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies I'd hardly call it bland, though. And yep, it's yummy.

    http://online-cookbook.com/goto/cook/rpage/0013B5
    #2
    cedwin
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2005/08/01 10:31:16 (permalink)
    I'm not Texan, but I got a recipe of this delicious dish from somebody who used to live in Austin and it was definitely not bland. My recipe had tortillas in it, not Fritos.
    #3
    tiki
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2005/08/01 13:11:55 (permalink)
    Had it once---got a recipe here i believe-----it was GOOD! Not what i would call bland at all.
    #4
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2005/08/01 13:37:24 (permalink)
    King Ranch Casserole is basically the quintessential Texas potluck dish. Every potluck I went to as a kid was guaranteed to have at least two or three competing iterations, and there could definitely be hurt feelings if one was notably more popular than another.

    Thing is, although it seems like it shouldn't be bland, many versions are, specifically the ones that are too dependent on Campbell's soup as the base. There are definitely terrible versions of this dish out there.
    #5
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2005/08/02 18:06:32 (permalink)
    I believe my recipe came from Southern Living Magazin. It is outstanding and anything but bland.
    #6
    tiki
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2005/08/02 23:40:03 (permalink)
    This is easy and tasty!
    KING RANCH CHICKEN

    1 (2 1/2 lb.) frying chicken
    6 oz. tortilla chips
    3/4 c. chopped onion
    3/4 c. chopped green pepper
    1 tsp. chili powder
    1 c. milk
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 can Rotel
    1/2 lb. fresh diced mushrooms
    1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    Minced green chilies

    Cook chicken and remove meat from bones and cube. Discard skin and bones. Crush tortilla chips and spread in 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish. Add chicken. Blend remaining ingredients except cheese. Pour over chicken. Top with cheese. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
    #7
    Born in OKC
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/09 19:21:07 (permalink)
    Does the KRC actually have King Ranch antecedents or is it a food editor / junior league concoction in spite of thefact it may have been around for a while?
    #8
    zeebaneighba
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/10 08:41:00 (permalink)
    I don't know about any true King Ranch connections, but I used to make the casserole quite a bit. It can be terribly salty if you use tortilla chips (I have also used corn tortillas and made a couple of layers with tortillas, chicken, sauce, and cheese). The way I started making it was to cook bone-in chicken breasts, take the chicken off the bones and shred it, and then heat the soups and Ro-Tel tomatoes with chicken broth to make a consistent sauce. I also switched to no-salt tortilla chips and low-sodium soups. Much better, IMHO!

    It's also very good served with extra tortilla chips on the side. Scoop up some of the casserole with a chip, and you have a great mix of soft and crunchy textures!

    OK, I'm hungry now...
    #9
    tiki
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/10 10:23:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Born in OKC

    Does the KRC actually have King Ranch antecedents or is it a food editor / junior league concoction in spite of thefact it may have been around for a while?

    Thats the claim,anyway.---but who knows?
    #10
    Born in OKC
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/10 17:39:23 (permalink)
    Its probably too much to expect to find a copy of the recipe signed by a Kleberg or Clement or Yarborough. Ditto for an affadavit from some one who visited the Ranch raving about the chicken casserole.

    But maybe some one will come forward with a version of the recipe in an old (dated) newspaper article (preferably from Kingsville) or a collection of recipes put out by a church group.

    Would the dish have the same appeal if it were called "white chicken chili frito pie" or some such?
    #11
    RubyRose
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/10 19:59:15 (permalink)
    Even though Pennsylvania is about as far as you can get from Texas, I do have some memories of King Ranch Chicken. The recipe was published attributed to King Ranch in the local newspaper in the early 50’s, which was where my mother originally got it. She made it many times during my childhood and so did many of our neighbors. It wasn't the King Ranch or the newspaper in TX but the ones near where I grew up in PA.

    In those days, King Ranch operated a branch called Buck and Doe Run Farms located in Chester County PA. Except for mid-winter, they’d ship the cattle up north from Texas for some extra fattening up before they were shipped by train to the slaughterhouses. King Ranch was often a destination for a Sunday afternoon drive to see the Santa Gertrudis cattle, safely tucked away behind the only electrified fence I’d ever seen.

    When my mom was planning to make the casserole, my dad would have to take a special trip to a little store (closed on Sundays as they all were then) near the ranch to purchase the tortillas and canned tomatoes with chiles since those ingredients were not normally stocked in grocery stores in our neck of the woods.

    King Ranch’s PA holdings are now a wildlife conservancy and a 300-acre farm owned by Dorothy Alexander Matz, granddaughter of Robert Kleberg , and her husband Michael Matz, trainer of race horse Barbaro.

    So although this doesn’t really add to the provenance of the recipe, it does add a bit of trivia.

    Here’s the way my mom’s recipe read. It probably didn’t seem as bland in Pennsylvania as it would have in Texas.

    KING RANCH CHICKEN

    1 - 3 lb. chicken
    12 corn tortillas
    1 can each cream of chicken and mushroom soup
    1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1 can tomatoes with chili peppers
    1/4 lb. grated cheddar cheese

    Cook chicken and strain broth. Bone and cut up chicken. Tear tortillas into pieces and dip in chicken broth. Cover bottom of large oblong cake pan [9” X 13”] with layer of tortillas – 1/2. Add a layer of chicken – 1/2. Mix soups, chili powder and tomatoes. Put a layer of sauce over chicken. Repeat layers of tortillas, chicken and sauce. Add cheese on top. Bake 350 – 30 min.
    #12
    Born in OKC
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/10 20:36:44 (permalink)
    Thank you for an interesting note. I knew that the King Ranch was a wide spread operation but had no idea they had a feeder operation in Pennslyvania.

    #13
    zataar
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/10 20:55:00 (permalink)
    Years ago I worked as the chef at a "gourmet to go" place. King Ranch Casserole was our most popular item. People would not let us stop making it.
    #14
    Twinwillow
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/10 21:37:36 (permalink)
    Celebration restaurant in Dallas has King Ranch Chicken on it's menu at least once a week.
    www.celebrationrestaurant.com
    #15
    HollyDolly
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/14 09:18:13 (permalink)
    Had no idea the famous King Ranch had other holdings elsewhere.
    I just think of them here in Texas.
    For you Texas folks, H.E.B. GroceryStores has their own brand of tv dinners.I mention this because they have a King Ranch Chicken dinner that
    was pretty tasty. And yeah,if you don't add the Ro-Tel to it I can imagine it's bland.
    Ro-tel I think comes mild,medium or hot.
    My mom never made it RubyRose, but that is the original recipe for it.
    #16
    leethebard
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/14 09:24:34 (permalink)
    We've been making something similar for a while...got our disah from my sister out west....never heard it called KRC,however..thanks for the heads up!!!
    #17
    Michael Stern
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2008/07/14 09:49:09 (permalink)
    [url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Photo.aspx?RefID=508&PhotoID=12160']Here[/url] is a link to a photo posted with a review of the Monument Cafe in Georgetown, TX.
    #18
    the grillman
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2010/02/03 18:11:05 (permalink)
    I'm going to attempt this for tomorrow night's supper.....looks easy enough.

    I'm going to use a whole chicken, some corn tortillas, the soups, chili powder, Rotel tomatoes, both sharp cheddar and pepper jack, and a can of green chilies.  Should I also add some sour cream or milk?  I've seen it both ways...as well as without.

    Can anyone tell me if their kids will eat it?  Ours tend to be rather picky....
    #19
    1bbqboy
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2010/02/03 18:57:27 (permalink)
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    Foodbme
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2010/02/03 20:07:55 (permalink)
    Born in OKC

    Does the KRC actually have King Ranch antecedents or is it a food editor / junior league concoction in spite of the fact it may have been around for a while?

     
    If you want people to think they're actually eating something that originated in TX, just put Kings Ranch in front of the name. My cousin, Moishe, opened a Deli in Houston and served a Kings Ranch Corned Beef on Rye Sandwich!! When questioned about its authenticity, he would explain it was a form of a Yiddish BBQ Beef Brisket-----from the Kings Ranch of course!
    #21
    Sundancer7
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    Re:King Ranch Chicken? 2010/02/04 12:08:10 (permalink)
    I was driving to Brownsville from Houston a few months ago and I past through this town.  I drove about 75 miles through this ranch.  I though what was amazing was they had a sign that indicated "no gas for the next 75 miles".  It was the king ranch on both sides of the road.
     
    It is a very interesting story of the King ranch.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ranch
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #22
    happyfoodie
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    Re:King Ranch Chicken? 2010/02/08 17:10:20 (permalink)
    thanks for that recipe tiki!!!!!!  Sounds easy and delicious :)
    #23
    HollyDolly
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    Re:King Ranch Chicken? 2010/02/15 11:13:11 (permalink)
    Oh it is delicious happy fooder.I've never made it myself, but it isn't too hard.
    When I want my King Ranch Chicken fix, I just buy the H.E.B. tv dinner of the same name.
    I guess if a person prefered  beef, you could substitute hamburger meat, browned, and drained of fat.Then follow the rest of the recipe. I guess it would taste just as good.
     
    momma never made it.They might have had recipes for it in the San Antonio Light or San Antonio Express News, but I don't recall her cutting it out.
     
    you can serve a salad with it, and for dessert, maybe something light like jello with fruit, or maybe sherbert. Or maybe flan which might not be too heavy. Jello makes a flan mix.
     
    #24
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: King Ranch Chicken? 2010/02/20 11:01:41 (permalink)
    Twinwillow

    Celebration restaurant in Dallas has King Ranch Chicken on it's menu at least once a week.
    www.celebrationrestaurant.com


    Spoons Cafe up here in McKinney serves it daily as one of their "comfort foods":  http://www.spoonscafe.com/index.html  Good stuff!
     
    Unfortunately our one experience with Celebration was "unhappy" - not due to the food, but our inability to enjoy it while trapped in one of their small rooms with a Texas mother who amused herself by teasing random shrieks out of her toddler. 
    #25
    reinnhausin
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    King ranch chicken? 2010/03/01 23:21:57 (permalink)
    I love this recipe as does a good friend of mine. The flavors are great and it make a great leftover even from the freezer. ... It takes some time to prepare so be ready for that. I recommend playing with the recipe a little to figure out exactly how you like it. For example I do not fry the tortillas and make a double batch of sauce. I hope you like it as much as we do.


    -------------------------------------


    #26
    the grillman
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    Re:King ranch chicken? 2010/03/07 21:09:54 (permalink)
    We've made this now a couple times since my post last month.  The kids are still kind of iffy on it, but the spouse and I love it.  And the leftovers hold very well, too. 
    #27
    MiamiDon
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    Re:King ranch chicken? 2010/03/08 04:53:45 (permalink)
    This is verbatim from the book:

    CHICKEN CASSEROLE - FROM THE KING RANCH COOKBOOK

    4 Chicken breasts, cooked, boned and cut into bite size pieces, layer chicken on bottom of buttered casserole dish.
    Then layer over chicken:

    2 stalks of chopped celery
    1 medium chopped onion
    Mix:
    1 can cream of celery soup
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 cup sour cream

    Pour over chicken. Sprinkle 1 package of Pepperidge corn bread dressing over top.  Melt 1 stick of butter in 1 can of chicken broth.  Pour over all - do not stir.
    Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

    Optional:
    Sliced water chestnuts, artichoke hearts, mushrooms (canned), green or red chopped peppers.  Also 2 envelopes of Lipton cup-a-broth (chicken flavor) sprinkled over add flavor.
    #28
    Born in OKC
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    Re:King Ranch Chicken? 2010/04/17 11:21:40 (permalink)
    I still wonder if KRC is not a junior league cookbook standby in spite of  the post by MiamiDon where a "King Ranch Cookbookis mentionedHere is the most recent recipe I've seen.  It was in the Daily Oklahoman on 17 April 2010 where it is attributed to a singer with a Christian group that has published a cookbook.
     
    With American cheese and mild cheddar and diced tomatoes instead of Ro-Tel, it looks decidedly on the mild side.
     
     http://newsok.com/king-ranch-casserole/article/3454411?custom_click=headlines_widget
     
    Denise Jone's King Ranch Casserole
     

    Serves 8 to 10 6 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and cut up ½ stick butter 1 onion, chopped 16-ounce can diced tomatoes 8 ounces American cheese ½ cup chicken broth (from boiling the chicken) ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon chili powder 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, grated Crushed tortilla chips to make ½-inch layer in bottom of 9x13 baking dish 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 can cream of chicken soup. →Preheat oven to 350. →Grease 9x13 baking dish. →Crush chips in bottom of baking dish. →Saute onion in butter. →In large bowl combine all ingredients except cheddar cheese. →Pour mixture over chips. →Top with cheddar cheese. →Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.   →Source:  Cooking With Grace: A Cookbook From Point of Grace

     
    #29
    MiamiDon
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    Re:King Ranch Chicken? 2010/04/17 12:32:16 (permalink)
    Born in OKC

    I still wonder if KRC is not a junior league cookbook standby in spite of  the post by MiamiDon where a "King Ranch Cookbookis mentioned.    



    I don't know.  There is no mention of a Junior League in it.  I bought it from King Ranch.
     
    KING RANCH COOK BOOK
    Copyright 1992 by King Ranch, Inc.
    Kingsville, Texas
     
    "The cuisine of King Ranch, armed with a respect for history and for excellence in cooking techniques, offers a harmonious blend of traditions, ingredients, and flavors that preserve the spirit of Kineño culture.  We hope this cookbook tells you a little of our history, our people, and our culinary traditions."
     
    FYI:  kineños refers to the people of King Ranch.
     
     
     
     

    #30
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