Chicken Burritos . . . Chico?
See that plate? I made that plate. Ok, not made made. I painted it. Then etched some do-dads on it. I didn’t even fire or glaze it. So I guess I should say that I decorated that plate. Anyhow, it’s my new favorite. Double dates at pottery shops are the best. Thanks, friend. :)Burritos probably aren’t on anyone’s Easter menu (why does Mexican food get the shaft on holidays?), but I really like these ones. I don’t have any decorated Easter cupcakes to show off, so you get burritos.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you cook once and eat twice. The filling and the sauce both freeze very well. All you have to do the second time around is reheat both, assemble the burritos and pop them in the oven. The original recipe uses 6 of the gigantor burrito tortillas. I used the smaller ones and I filled two 9×13 pans. (I think it made about 15.)
I think I’ve already professed my love for uncooked tortillas. We’ve (still) never gone back, despite being pickier about grains. (We used to buy the whole grain ones.) If they ever make whole wheat (or non-wheat) versions of these, I’m going to write them a love letter.
So don’t be afraid at the lengthy recipe. A little more time spent on a Saturday might buy you a quick dinner during the week. :)
Chicken Burritos Grande (or not so grande)
2 T oil
1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders or breasts cut into strips
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 T chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground chipotle chile powder
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree (from 28-oz can. . . the rest goes in the sauce)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 large (burrito-sized) or 12-15 medium (taco sized) flour tortillas
4 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese blend, divided
1 1/2 cups purchased pico de gallo or 3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 Recipe Enchilada Sauce (recipe below), or 3 cups canned enchilada sauce
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Toss just until cooked through, about 5 minutes or so. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute until they just begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano, and chipotle powder; stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for a minute or so until fully incorporated and heated through. Add crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, coarsely shred chicken and add to sauce. Simmer until heated through, about 3 minutes. Taste filling and season with salt and pepper if needed. TIP: Filling can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and store. Rewarm before continuing.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Stir cilantro into warm filling.
(I added approximate measurements I used for the burrito filling in parenthesis for small tortillas.) Place a tortilla on your work surface, then sprinkle 1/2 cup (2-3 T) cheese down the center of tortilla, leaving 2-inches of space around the edges. Sprinkle a 1/4 cup (2 T) pico de gallo, then spoon 3/4 cup (1/3-1/2 cup) chicken filling atop the cheese and tomatoes. Add a few spinach leaves on top. Fold the top and bottom of tortilla over filling, then fold 1 side over and roll burrito over to enclose filling. Transfer, seam side down, to a large (15x10x2 or 13x9x2) baking dish. (You'll need two dishes if your burritos are small.) Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Spoon 1/4 cup enchilada sauce over each burrito. (I like to leave the edges of the burritos bare so they crisp up a little in the oven.) Sprinkle remaining cheese over burritos and bake, uncovered, until heated through and the cheese is melty, about 15 minutes. Serve with remaining enchilada sauce.
Makes 6 large or 12-14 small burritos.
1. The second time I made these (when I took the photos) I used cotija cheese instead of the shredded Jack/cheddar blend. Both are great!
2. The filling and the sauce (below) can be frozen. I only used half of each the first time I made these, so I froze the rest. Just thaw and reheat the sauce and filling and proceed to build the burritos. They were great the second time around -- I couldn't even tell the difference!
3. Dried chipotle chili powder can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores. You could also use 1 minced chipotle pepper (from a can of peppers in adobo sauce).
3 T oil
3 T chili powder
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree (the rest of the 28-oz can used above)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 T tomato paste
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chili powder, garlic, and oregano; stir for 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and tomato paste. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until sauce thickens slightly and flavors have blended, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes about 3 cups. TIP: This can also be done a couple of days ahead of time.
1. This enchilada sauce is very rich and intense. It almost tasted too acidic and slightly bitter alone, but eaten with the burritos, it's awesome. You could add a teaspoon or so of sugar if you feel it would improve the flavor.
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine October 2009