Triple D King Ranch Casserole

I have few talents in general but my best one is my ability to watch a cooking show and write down the steps and ingredients and re-create the recipe. I love doing this and the feeling of success when a dish comes out just right. I think my hubby is pretty lucky as most guys probably watch Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and drool over the delicious recipes shown with no hope of ever tasting them. But my hubby saw a recent recipe and told me he wanted me to make what he saw and I accepted his challenge. My hubby loves most things I cook and I make a lot of the same staples over and over. But when he tells me that he wants to “crawl into a vat of casserole and live in there, it was so good” I know I hit the nail on the head.

The episode of Triple D was in Texas and Matthew McConaughey joined Guy for their taste testing. The diner made a King Ranch Casserole which is a traditional Texas dish and it looked amazing. I tried to google “king ranch casserole” and there was no shortage of recipes to pop up. But none of the recipes I found had the steps or ingredients I saw on Food Network, so instead I watched the episode on Food Network as a guide. Many people got close with their versions but a can of cream of mushroom soup and cream of chicken soup? Come on, it is not hard to make a roux and use fresh stock and mushrooms. Don’t be fooled by imitations, this is the closest version! Here is the recipe I invented:

Triple D King Ranch Casserole

Ingredients (guesstimated measurements I eyeballed my version):

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 large onion chopped

1 large green bell pepper chopped

2 small stalks of celery chopped

6 cloves of garlic minced

6 oz of button mushrooms chopped

1/4 or 1/3 cup of white wine

a couple teaspoons of kosher salt, or more to taste

1/2 tsp or more of black pepper, or more if you like

1 tablespoon of cumin, or more if you like

1 tablespoon of chili powder, or more if you like

1 can of Rotel tomatoes with chiles

about 1/3 cup of flour, enough to make a roux

2 cups of chicken stock

about 1/2 cup of whole milk or half and half

corn or flour tortillas, about 1 dozen, I used flour

a block of monterey cheese

a block of cheddar cheese

a whole rotisserie chicken from the deli, dark and light meat removed and shredded (I bought the “smokehouse bbq” flavor and it was perfect)

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Get a large casserole dish or 9×13 pan out. Start by heating your vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Then saute your onions, pepper and celery till translucent. Add your minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add your mushrooms and cook through, I added a bit more veg oil to help the mushrooms cook. Deglaze your pan with the white wine and cook veggies in wine till mostly absorbed. Add salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and Rotel with chiles and mix together, let cook for a minute.

Then add your flour to make a roux. Whisk flour in slowly till the veggies and flour form almost a gravy, dough or a thick paste like concoction. After it has thickened add the chicken stock and whisk to get the roux to loosen up and combine with the stock. Once it has loosened into sort of a soup, add the half and half or milk and whisk. Cook over medium/low heat for a few minutes to bring all elements together and reduce to thicken into a nice sauce.

Take off heat and put a few spoonfuls of sauce in bottom of casserole dish so tortillas won’t stick. Then put down a layer of tortillas, 1/3 of shredded chicken and 1/4 of shredded cheeses, topped with dots of the sauce sort of spread out over it. Then repeat layers 2 more times, so there are 3 layers of yumminess total. Top with additional layer of tortillas, sauce and then cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so uncovered and keep an eye on it, mine was done at about 35 mins in my oven. Slice in to this puppy and enjoy the best dish my husband says I have made in a long time. It is sort of like a mexican lasagna or enchilada casserole and you won’t be disappointed!

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9 Responses to “Triple D King Ranch Casserole”

  1. Mom Says:

    OMG! this was so good, we got to have the leftovers!

  2. Jon Campanella Says:

    I fully hold you responsible for me not being selected as Key West’s Sexiest Man of the Year. It’s dishes like this that keep me out of the running.

  3. Gr8pimpin Says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  4. Dad who cooks Says:

    Thanks for this. I looked for quiet a while before I found your version which seemed to match the Triple D version exactly. I’ve made it several times and it’s terrific! My only change is to use two rotisserie chickens and then used a large pan to bake it all in. Thanks again!

    • Tara Says:

      Thank you for your comment! I always get a lot of hits on my blog but never know if people try it. I am so glad you were happy with the results.

  5. Ashley S Says:

    Caught a re-run of this episode and knew instantly I would have to copy it. There are tons of recipes for King Ranch out there but this is the only one that is comparable to the show and it’s AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    • Tara Says:

      Thank you so much for your comment! I’m so happy to hear people have tried it and it came out good. This is one of my families favorite dishes.

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