Monday, April 4, 2016

King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole

This recipe looked really appealing with quionoa and rotisserie chicken. It was a little harder to make than expected. The "roasting" of the quinoa in the oven for 14 minutes seemed really un-necessary as it made the quinoa too dry and crunchy. We would avoid that next time.
We substituted bell peppers for poblano peppers as we did not want to make it too spicy.
Overall, this was a pleasant recipe with lots of flavor and quinoa "crunch". It was very different.Here is the original recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/king-ranch-chicken-quinoa-casserole.
We also used more cheese as 3.5 oz really did not seem like enough. Also, we used more quinoa as there was lots of tomato/chile/chicken mixture. This was a good move. And, we also had to use a bigger pan, there was no way that everything was going to fit into an 8 inch square dish.

Plated 
Cooked - you can see how it's a little crispy on top

Before going into the oven

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked quinoa
5 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped bell peppers
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 can chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) mild chopped green chiles frozen or can
2 cups skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
1.5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine cooked quinoa and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Spread quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet; bake at 400° for 14 minutes. - (NEXT TIME - WE WOULD AVOID THIS STEP!)

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in flour, cumin, and chili powder; cook 1 minute. Add stock, salt, tomatoes, and chopped green chiles to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in chicken. Pour half of chicken mixture into the bottom of a  baking dish; top with half of quinoa mixture and half of the cheese. Repeat layers once with remaining chicken mixture, remaining quinoa, and remaining cheese. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes.

What we liked:

It was very different from what we normally make. The rotisserie chicken was very soft and delicious. The quinoa was also very good. 

What we didn't like:

The top was too crispy. Would not crisp the quinoa in the oven next time. 

What Kaspian thought about it:

Nothing. He was too preoccupied with his bread and butter sandwich. To which he added sour cream. And then dipped it into sour cream. How could any dinner compare to that? He then decided to supplement his dinner with pepperoni. 

Next time:

No crisping of the quinoa.