A Taste of Texas

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Well, as I thought I might, I find myself with oh, about twenty minutes of blogging time this morning. So, without further ado, I present you with the recipe for what I fixed for my wife this morning, so she'll be able to come home to a taste of Texas when she returns home from work late this evening.

This recipe is one of several I have added to my repertoire at her request. Despite my having lived in Texas for over half of my life, I had never heard of it (or had forgotten that I had) and, if I had ever had it, it was because she made it for me ages ago when we were just dating.

The recipe is based almost entirely on a munging-together of two that I found here. The black beans, not traditionally a part of the dish, were her idea and, after having made the dish each way, I think they're a fine addition. Also, if I recall, the original recipes might have called for cilantro. (No time to look now.) Regardless, I plan to try adding that and may alter the recipe to include it if I like the results.

For my newer recipes, I have taken to listing all ingredients first, and all steps in preparation, including simple things like dicing, next. This is in part because I am absent-minded and in part an effort to save time. I love to cook, but I don't love to spend any more time than I absolutely must to do so. (And I hate being surprised mid-stream to learn that I'd forgotten to prep one ingredient or another.) So when I encounter a new recipe, I visualize myself following it, and think of things like how long each step will take, and whether some things can be done in parallel.

Although an experienced cook can do such things naturally, I find that it helps me assimilate new recipes more quickly to think through timing rather than come up with all of it through trial and error.

I hope you enjoy this if you try it and, if you have any suggestions for interesting variations or improvement, feel free to leave a comment. (I fly most of the day, so don't be surprised if I take a while to moderate anything you might post today.)


King Ranch Chicken

Preparation Time is about 1 hour.


celery salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tsp lime juice
1 can Ro-Tel
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can black beans
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper
10 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz, store-bought)
1 1/2 lbs of chicken, without skin and bones

  1. Mise en place celery salt, pepper, 1 tsp cumin, the garlic, lime juice, the bouillon cube, the cans of soup, Ro-Tel, cheese, black beans (drained, rinsed, and in a bowl), chili powder (in sauce bowl), and casserole dish.
  2. Pour one cup water (for bouillon) into small saucepan.
  3. In parallel with the next steps, prepare chicken broth by bringing water to a boil and dissolving bouillon cube. Turn off heat.
  4. Cook the chicken in the olive oil on medium, adding 2 tsp lime juice. Also, add half of the cumin, and pepper and celery salt to taste on each side. Turn about once every five minutes.
  5. Chop the onion and set aside in a bowl.
  6. Chop bell pepper and remove seeds. Set aside in a bowl.
  7. After about 15 minutes, add 1/4 of the onion and the garlic to the chicken.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Prepare sauce by combining soups, broth, Ro-tel, and chile powder. Blend until smooth.
  10. Grease casserole dish and set aside.
  11. When chicken is done (in about another 5 minutes), shred with two forks in casserole dish. Spread evenly.
  12. Add layers of: tortillas, black beans, onion, bell pepper, cheese, and sauce.
  13. Repeat step 12, ending with cheese.
  14. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbling.

-- CAV


Jasmine said...

Lucky woman!

Gus Van Horn said...

I'm luckier!

Mike said...

"Lucky woman!"
"I'm luckier!"

I dunno, Gus; after looking at that recipe I'd say you two might be tied.

Gus Van Horn said...

I'll have to ask her about that!