Salsa verde, ranchero cream, rotisserie chicken and torn blistered tortillas are layered together in Rach's King Ranch Casserole.
Rach's Tip: Buy 16 to 18 ounces of jarred salsa verde or, if you have the time, use her simple recipe below to make it from scratch.
- 8 medium tomatillos (or 6 large), peeled and rinsed
- 3 large poblano peppers, or 4 medium
- 1 white onion, quartered and peeled
- 6 large cloves garlic, trimmed of root ends but left in skins
- 2 limes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin , or ⅓ palmful
- 1 teaspoon light agave, or small drizzle of mild honey
- ½ cup cilantro , or a handful of leaves
- 2 cups Mexican crema or sour cream
- ½ cup cilantro, or a handful
- 2 cloves pasted garlic
- 1 cup finely grated Cotija cheese
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 rotisserie chicken, remove skin and bones and pull meat into small bite-sized pieces
- 18 soft corn tortillas
- 4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend , or Jack and cheddar cheeses combined
- One 14-ounce can or 2 small cans green chilies, well drained
- Mild or hot pickled jalapeño pepper rings and chopped scallions, to serve
For the salsa verde, line a small tray with foil and arrange tomatillos, peppers, onion and garlic and place rack 1 rung above center. Broil the ingredients to char evenly, cool to handle, peel and stem the peppers. Remove garlic from skins. Place ingredients and juices in food processor and add juice of 2 limes, salt and pepper, cumin, agave, and cilantro, then process. Transfer to a mixing bowl and rinse processor, dry and return to base.
For the ranchero cream, combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until smooth.
To assemble, preheat oven to 375˚F.
Char the tortillas over an open flame or in dry cast-iron or stainless steel pan over high heat until blistered, then tear or coarsely chop.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, salsa and Ranchero cream. Place ⅓ of the chicken in a 9x13 casserole and top with ⅓ of the tortillas and then ⅓ of the cheese and ⅓ of the chilies. Repeat layers two more times and bake casserole until the top is brown and bubbly. Top with pickled mild or hot jalapeño peppers and scallions and serve.