Running on the treadmill, it’s useful to dangle an image carrot in your brain: something you can run towards, something to look forward to, a reward for all your hard work. And last week, for me, that was definitely a chicken burrito. I was craving one, hardcore.
The problem is that where we live in Park Slope? The chicken burritos leave much to be desired. Craig is very much NOT a fan of Los Pollitos; I think it’s passable, but certainly not a reward for burning millions of calories on the treadmill. No, if I wanted a good chicken burrito, I’d have to make one myself.
After some careful Googling, I found this recipe on foodandwine.com: a recipe for “Lucinda’s Chipotle Chicken Burritos.” I don’t know who Lucinda is, but after making this recipe I’m definitely a big fan.
Here’s what you do…
Lucinda’s Chicken Burritos
adapted from Food & Wine
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (don’t worry if you can’t find skinless chicken thighs; I just pulled the skin off myself)
1 medium onion, quartered, plus 1 small onion cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 large chipotle in adobo, stemmed, plus 1 Tbs adobo sauce
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs canned chopped green chiles, drained (I skipped this)
1 1/2tsps water
Monterey jack cheese
1. In a large saucepan (I used a Dutch Oven), combine the chicken thighs, quartered onion, garlic and bay leaves. Add water to cover and bring to a simmer (I did it on medium-low heat.)
Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is fork tender, 1 hour. Remove the chicken and shred into bite-size pieces.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil. Add the diced onion and brown sugar and cook over moderately high heat until the onion is golden brown, 10 minutes.
Add the chipotle, adobo sauce…
and tomatoes and simmer over moderately low heat until thickened, 10 minutes.
[At this point, I realized I should’ve done this all in a pot, not a skillet, so I transferred it.]
[I transferred it because of the next two steps.]
Blend the sauce (I used a hand blender, but you can transfer it to a food processor and blend in there. Be carefu!) Then add the shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper.
Mmmm, that’s a mighty tasty chicken burrito filling.
3. Everything from this point on is pretty self explanatory. You toast the tortilla in a dry skillet:
And then you add your stuff. Craig likes to call the stuff you add to a burrito the “goo.” I think that’s gross.
As you can see, Craig really loves cheese:
In his burrito he put the chicken, salsa leftover from our party, black beans from the can (Craig was mad I didn’t heat them, so if you like your beans hot, throw them in a pot, add some water and salt and crank up the heat) and sour cream. That original Food & Wine recipe has you blend the sour cream with the green chiles from a can (that’s why they’re in the ingredients), but that’s a bit too fussy for me.
Now, both Craig and I made a fatal mistake when it came to assembling our burritos. Here’s mine:
Before you roll it, you gotta place the goo (ew!) lower down, more towards 6 o’clock. Both of us put our burrito filling too much in the middle, so it was hard to roll. It wasn’t until we made our second burritos that we figured that out.
As for rolling them, you just fold up the bottom flap, fold over the two side flaps and then roll, roll, roll. Check it out!
If this food blogging thing doesn’t work out, I’ll be training the staff at your local Chipotle.
And that’s how you make your own chicken burrito.