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King Ranch Chicken

3 tablespoons butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
3/4 cup buttermilk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium poblano, chopped
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or 1/2 cup canned tomatoes)
2 tablespoons chopped pimientos
canola oil for softening tortillas
8 corn tortillas
3 to 4 cops cooked, diced chicken
1/3 cup sliced green olives
1/3 cup green onions, including tops, chopped
2 cups grated longhorn or mild cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish or 3-quart casserole.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the
garlic and chili powder, and saute for a minute or two. Raise the
heat to medium. Quickly sprinkle in the flour and stir to mix. Pour
in a small amount of the chicken broth, stirring constantly to
remove lumps and allowing the flour to "cook" briefly. Gradually
add the remaining chicken broth, add the buttermilk and continue
stirring until sauce has thickened, 3 or 4 minutes. Add salt and
pepper to taste. Sauce may be prepared in advance and refrigerated.

Warm a heavy skillet over medium heat, add the butter or olive oil,
and saute the chopped onion, green pepper, poblano, mushrooms,
tomatoes and pimientos until onion is transparent, about 4 or 5
minutes. Fold into the mixture the diced chicken, olives and green
onions, combining well. Remove from heat.

In a small skillet, heat about about half an inch of canola oil.
Using tongs, dip the tortillas in the hot oil one at a time, for
just a few seconds, so that they are softened. Cover the bottom of
your baking dish with 4 of the softened tortillas. Layer the
remaining ingredients in the following order:

Half of the chicken/vegetable mixture
Half of the grated cheese
Half of the sauce
The remaining 4 softened tortillas
The remaining chicken/vegetable mixture
The remaining grated cheese
The remaining sauce

Bake for 30 minutes at 350F until casserole is heated through and
bubbly. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Notes: Possible substitutions: A small can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and
chiles for the tomatoes and poblano, or a small can of green chiles
for just the poblano.


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