|King Ranch Chicken Casserole: tasty & feeds a crowd|
|King Ranch Chicken Casserole loaded with extra veggies|
Loaded King Ranch Chicken Casserole
2 large chicken breasts (or 2 cups of shredded pre-cooked rotisserie chicken)
juice from half of a lime
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika (use smoked paprika if you have it)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
1 large brown onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
3/4 cup frozen corn (or 3/4 cup cooked fresh corn)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon flour (for gluten-free use 2 teaspoons cornflour)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes (or roasted red bell peppers)
1 cup chopped fresh kale (or fresh spinach)
1 cup plain or greek yogurt (or sour cream)
4 corn or flour tortillas (gluten-free if necessary)
1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped olives (optional)
2-3 teaspoons Cholula or other mild hot sauce
1 cup guacamole (optional, to serve)
[If you're using raw chicken: butterfly the chicken breasts and sprinkle the lime juice, cayenne pepper, and paprika, and black pepper evenly over the chicken breasts. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken breasts in the pan for about 15 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally to cook evenly. Remove the chicken breasts and shred with two forks.] Set the shredded chicken aside.
Bring the same sauté pan back to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, until it begins to turn translucent. Add the bell pepper and corn, and continue to cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until the bell pepper starts to soften.
Add the garlic, flour (or cornflour), and cumin, and cook for one minute, stirring often. Add the stock, tomatoes, and kale. Continue to stir over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the yogurt and shredded, cooked chicken, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring to well to combine. Remove from heat.
In a 13x9 inch casserole dish, layer two tortillas on the bottom, then pour in half of the chicken mixture, spreading evenly over the tortillas. Layer two more tortillas on top of the chicken mixture, and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with remaining chicken mixture, then cheese. If desired, top with chopped olives and a few dashes of Cholula.
Bake at 350F / 177C for 30 minutes, uncovered, until bubbling. Serve warm, with guacamole on the side if desired.
Storage tip: Casserole will keep, covered in the fridge, for 2-3 days.