El Rancho Chicken

Last night was a potluck night at church.  We have them on the last Sunday of every month, but I still almost always get caught by them, trying to think of something at the last minute.  Of course, this is what happened yesterday.  Therefore, at a little before three in the afternoon, I was looking through the index of a cookbook in search of a recipe I could make with what I had on hand.  It was in my copy of Better Homes and Gardens Our Best Recipes cookbook that I discovered this little gem.  It’s basically a version of Mexican chicken, and I would be willing to bet that you have the ingredients sitting in your kitchen right now.  I did not go by recipe exactly.  I had to change a couple of things, so this will be my ever-so-slightly altered version of the recipe in the book.

By the way, this is a simple, relatively quick meal that you could throw together in a pinch.  It also alters well.  Change out the corn or chicken for black beans, the soups for other flavors of cream soups, another flavor of cheese, tortilla chips for some crunch, add peppers for more kick, or whatever you can imagine.  Just have fun with it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (15 oz.) can kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel (chopped tomatoes and green chile peppers), undrained
  • 1 cup chopped green sweet (bell) pepper
  • 1 cup chopped green onions or yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 12 (6-7 inch) corn tortillas, cut into thin bite-size strips
  • 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine soups, Ro-Tel, corn, bell pepper, onion, chili powder, and black pepper.  * Note:  I did not add salt, but I should have because it was a little bland.  Add salt to taste.*
  2. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the tortilla pieces in the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 baking dish.  Layer half of the chicken on top of the tortillas; spoon half of the soup mixture on top of the chicken.  Sprinkle half of the cheese on top of that.  Sprinkle another 1/3 of the tortilla strips on top of the cheese.  Layer with remaining chicken, soup mixture, and tortilla strips.  *Note:  Save the remaining cheese to use in the last few minutes of baking.*
  3. Cover with foil, bake at 350-degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and hot in the center.  Uncover; sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and bake uncovered for about 3-4 minutes more to melt cheese.
  4. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

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