While looking for a good recipe for King Ranch Chicken, I located quite a few variations, and a story that said King Ranch Chicken would never have been served to guests since first off, King Ranch is a cattle ranch, and secondly, the luncheons and dinners at King Ranch were elaborate affairs and one just wouldn't have served a casserole. It is very possible that the Los Kineños (King's people) developed this recipe and ate it themselves. King's people were the townspeople of Cruillas from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Their descendents still live and work the ranch to this day. Captain King saved these people from a horrible drought by buying up all of their cattle, and then providing them with jobs on the ranch.
King Ranch at one time was 1.15 million acres in Texas. It is known for it's many innovations in upbreeding cattle to withstand arid conditions, Fever Tick abatement, Quarter Horse breeding, arid grass development, game management and wildlife conservation. Today the ranch is 825,000 acres and is one of the largest ranches in the world, with 60,000 cattle and 300 quarter horses. King Ranch also maintains farming land in Florida.
The Running W is the brand of the King Ranch:
King Ranch Chicken
4 cooked boneless chicken breasts, skin removed (about 3-4 cups diced)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese or Mexican blend shredded cheeses
3/4 cup chicken broth (bouillion is fine)
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel Diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Mild)
1 T. chili powder
14 corn tortillas
Combine diced, cooked chicken with chopped onion and cheese.
Mix together soups, Rotel, broth, and chili powder.
Spray 9x13 or 10x15 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Shred 7 tortillas into strips and line bottom of dish, spread ½ chicken mixture, then ½ soup mixture. Repeat. Bake in 350 F oven for 20-30 minutes until bubbly. Serves 10.