Conroe Saturday AM market

  (Conroe, Texas)
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King Ranch Chicken from Linked-in and DDDives

King Ranch Chicken is the talk of the town this week. Mark Cosgrove started a discussion on Linked-in asking Chef's around the country to submit recipes and ingredients from their region of the United States. Chef Michael Fleshner responded with this comment 1) Cilantro 2) SamM Salsa 3) King Ranch Chicken. Guy Fieri the host on triple DDD {Diners Drive-ins and Dives} did an episode tonight from Georgetown, Texas where he demonstrated making King Ranch Chicken from scratch.

Let's start with the origin of King Ranch Chicken: Sadly, the history and origin of King Ranch Chicken is a bit murky. While the name invokes that epic south Texas ranch—so gigantic it covers more ground than the state of Rhode Island—the ranch claims no ownership on this recipe. Some surmise that perhaps it was a ranch-hand that developed the dish, but this has not been proven. Then there are those who say someone tacked on the name “King Ranch” because that ranch is emblematic of the state itself in both its size and its myth. Yet one has to ask why the recipe calls for chicken, when both the ranch and the state are known for its beef.

  On Triple DDD they sauteed Fresh Celery, Bell Peppers, Fresh sliced mushrooms added flour to make a roux and finished with Chicken stock, Cream and Ro-tel tomatoes for a sauce. And then built the casserole layering sauce-corn tortillas- shredded cheese and baking at 359 F till golden brown.

And now another version:  Are you familiar with Chicken A La King? It’s a creamy mixture of chicken, mushrooms and bell peppers served on toast. Now let’s take a look at what makes up King Ranch Chicken: chicken (of course!), bell peppers, cream of mushroom soup, with the addition of tomatoes and green chiles (such as a can of Ro-Tel), all layered on corn tortillas. Do you see where I’m headed with this? I believe that someone added ingredients found in traditional Texan dishes—such as the spicy tomatoes and corn tortillas—to their traditional Chicken A La King recipe. In naming this new, Southwestern Chicken A La King they added the word “ranch”—because it conjures up a certain Texan feeling—and did away with the “a la.” And voila! King Ranch Chicken.

Which ever version you choose:

1)Guy Fieri's demonstrated Fresh version or 2) Open all the cans mix and assemble version, Enjoy this awesome southern Texas casserole during your next rainy or cold weather evening. I will be in the kitchen till mid night preparing a dish that brings tears to my eyes remembering my first exposure when I arrived in south Texas and Chef Michael showed me how to create this tasty casserole.

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