Chicken Ranch

This is one of our favorite recipes from Southern Living:
Prep Time: 30 minutesCook Time: 2 hours 19 minutesOther: 40 minutesYield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1  (4 1/2- to 5-lb. ) whole chicken
  • 2  celery ribs, cut into 3 pieces each
  • 2  carrots, cut into 3 pieces each
  • 2 1/2  to 3 tsp. salt
  • 2  tablespoons  butter
  • 1  medium onion, chopped
  • 1  medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1  garlic clove, pressed
  • 1  (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1  (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 2  (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  Mexican-style chili powder*
  • 3  cups  grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 12  (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips


1. If applicable, remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use. Rinse chicken.
2. Place chicken, celery, carrots, and salt in a large Dutch oven with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 50 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove from heat. Remove chicken from broth; cool 30 minutes. Remove and reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Strain any remaining cooking liquid, and reserve for another use.
3. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 6 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add bell pepper and garlic, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid, cream of mushroom soup, and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
4. Skin and bone chicken; shred meat into bite-size pieces. Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of soup mixture and 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Cover with half of corn tortilla strips. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
5. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
*1 tsp. chili powder and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper may be substituted for Mexican-style chili powder.

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