Oh hey, March! Nice seeing you. I hope you bring my best friend Spring with you. If not, I may not be so excited to see you anymore.
I have three roommates. It’s something that rarely makes it’s way onto the blog, which is odd since I live with these people. They are all German and put up with my strange American habits and Denglish speaking. For living together, we rarely actually see each other, so each week we host a roommate dinner. The chef rotates every week and plans and pays for each meal. Thus, the chef can do the inviting. We move the kitchen table into the den to make an extra long dining table and it is really always a blast! Everyone helps cooks whilst drinking some beer and wine.
On Wednesday, it was my turn. When I host, I go pretty all out. I like to introduce new recipes to my international friends and invite them all over. I like to try to cook dishes considered super American. Last time, I did gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. This time, I wanted to go super Texan. I had one block of Velveeta and one can of Rotel left from my Christmas stash and decided it was time to finally give up the last bit. The previous queso nights had been big hits, but it was time to try something different. Thus, I decided on one of my all-time favorite meals and it was a HUGE HIT with all nine guests! I really wish I had more Velveeta and Rotel to do it again soon.
Recipe: King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- 3 Lbs. Chicken Breasts
- 2 Limes
- Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
- 2 Cans Rotel
- 2 Yellow Onions
- 1 Block of Velveeta
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1 Large Bag Tortilla Chips
- 1 Large Casserole Dish
- Marinate chicken breasts in fresh lime juice and Tony Chachere’s seasoning. Bake until cooked thoroughly (no pink).
- Let cool. Shred chicken breasts with a fork.
- Chop onions and bell pepper. Sautee in pan.
- Combine onions, bell pepper, Rotel, soups, and chicken broth in a pot. Mix together well. Warm.
- Chop or shred Velveeta (start with one half of the large block).
- Add one layer or tortilla chips to bottom of casserole dish.
- Add one layer of chicken on top of the chips.
- Add one layer of soup mixture.
- Add one layer of cheese.
- Repeat until dish is full.
- Bake 30 minutes at 325 or until cheese is melted and casserole is warm throughout.
You may homemake the soups (as I had to because these canned options are not available in Germany). Here is a helpful recipe: http://pinchofyum.com/homemade-cream-of-chicken-soup
Add jalapeños for extra kick.
Preparation time: 45 minutes (baking chicken included)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 8
For sides, I did a homemade Mexican rice (cook white rice, add can of tomatoes, tomato paste, cilantro, onions, and peppers) and a Southwestern salad (romaine lettuce, corn, beans, cheese) with a lime vinaigrette (limes, red wine vinegar, oil, pepper).
Dinner was followed by some Ben & Jerry’s, which my fab Icelandic friend brought to keep with the American theme, and some spectacular Cuba Libres my genius cocktail conducting roommate made with our extra limes. We were up until 4 am, which explains why I was blatantly absent from the blogosphere yesterday. I just don’t bounce back like I used to.
Have you ever tried King Ranch Casserole?
So, who wants to me to be forever indebted to them and send me Velveeta and Rotel?