Make Your Own Chicken Burrito

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 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

flour tortillas

Monterey jack cheese

Black beans


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.

23 thoughts on “Make Your Own Chicken Burrito”

  1. I’m with Craig – I would have called it “goo,” too. In fact, I have a treasured recipe from a friend’s mom called “salmon and goo.” The goo is made of zucchini and bell peppers and the instructions include the phrase “once the goo is goo, keep it warm over a low flame while you prepare the salmon.” Sometimes goo is just the word you need!

  2. This looks delicious. I’m a huge fan of anything with latin flavors, and burritos are very satisfying. We always have a lot of boneless chicken thighs around- I will give this a try!


  3. I just made shredded chicken burritos for the first time last night! What a coincidence! The recipe I used was boring compared to this one, I will try and spice up ours. I found it a cheap alternative to going out!

  4. I actually prefer to stuff my burritos with the fillings in the middle how you originally had it. When you fold the top half over, cup your hand around the pocket of filling and sort of pull the top layer of tortilla back. This compacts the filling and kinda makes sure it a solid mass. Then fold in the two sides, and continue rolling the burrito up. Ta da! Burrito!

  5. No good burritos in Park Slope? Please tell me you’ve been to La Taqueria! As a transplant from Los Angeles, its the closest thing to home in NYC – not Mexican-Mexican but California-Mexican. There’s even a mural of East LA on the wall. Yay.

  6. 1. Craig must’ve received my memo on cheese. Way to go, buddy. I believe he has used the bare minimum amount of cheese allowed. Adam, you failed this portion of the exam. It’s okay, I’ll let you make it up to us later.

    2. Your burrito rolling skills vastly improved between rounds 1 and 2, however, here’s a word of wisdom from someone that used to roll burritos at a healthfood restuarant: put tortillas on plate; dribble a bit of water (like get your hand wet, then shake it over them)on the tortillas; roll them up, not to tight; wrap in paper towel; put in microwave on high for 10 seconds (if you have more than 2 tortillas, add 5 seconds for every 2 additional tortillas). This will create a “steamed” tortilla that you get at a burrito stand, which makes it much more pliable to roll, stretch and contain Craig’s “Goo” (WHAT?!)

    3. We used to have these every week when I was growing up, we called it “Do-it-you-own-self-roll-ups” night. I know, seriously, it’s funny to say out loud, makes no sense, and it’s easier to say burritos. But when you have 4 kids, “Doityourownselfrollus” works just fine.

    4. another trick for doing the chicken if you’re in a pinch for time is to actually boil the chicken (you can keep the onions in there to get soft if you like). drop the chicken in there when the water’s cold, bring to a boil, keep there for 15 minutes (of course length of boil depends on size of pieces) then drain, and you can shred between 2 forks. You’ll still add in the sauce and spices, but this really does cut down on the prep time, and honestly because it’s still shredded, the flavors mix just as well as if you had slow cooked as you did above. (I’ve tried both ways, minimal difference)

    5. Please come to Seattle so we can cook this with all my friends. We love the burritos/doityourownselfrollups.

  7. Jeff Stinnett

    You will have to make a trip to Freebirds World Burritos while you are in Austin over SXSW.

    The South Congress location is close to downtown where much of the events are held.


  8. “Goo” sounds so gross! I prefer “slop” when speaking of burrito fixings.

    These look mighty tasty! Good work!

  9. They look GREAT.

    But Adam, get a pressure cooker. The new electric ones are amazing and can whip up perfectly tender and fork shreddable chicken in no time at all. And the whole chicken is infused with the Adobo…..

    In LOL speak


    kthxbai :-)

  10. I can completely relate to the dilemma of the burrito craving in Park Slope. When I lived in Carroll Gardens, we settled for Lobo as our fixin’ for Mexican food, but it really never left us feeling satisfied. Now that I’m in Berkeley, I certainly do not have that problem anymore. In fact, I just blogged about the best burrito I ever had at

    But despite all the solid Mexican joints that I now have at my choosing, I really want to try this recipe. And thanks for the rolling tutorial!

  11. Let’s face it you really don’t have the salt to hack it rolling those beautiful overstuffed tin foil babies at Chipotle. Truly a great meal, people dis it because its fast food and say its unhealthy, but hey why don’t you get on a treadmill America. It is always a semi natural/organic dining experience you are always getting a quality ingredient from the earth. It is the fastest and healthiest fast food you will ever receive and is a great price in relation to portion and again quality of ingredient. McDonald’s is not totally evil my anti-establishment readers.

  12. Great post with really useful process steps and specifics. But don’t fill out that employment application for Chipotle’s yet–I have a feeling that this blogging thing WILL work out for you though… ;)

    Oh, and yes, we call it “goo” too.


    Casual Kitchen

  13. That looks great AG – do you have a local source for fresh tortillas? It would be worth tracking one down if need be – fresh tortillas are incredible!

  14. We have burritos frequently during the week, and yours look like they’re better flavored than anything I make–thank you! I also love that they’re not filled with rice (I don’t get that with the flour tortilla). BTW, Trader Joe’s flour tortillas are fantastic!

  15. Don’t forget that you can also make a bunch at the same time and freeze them for later! Just don’t add the sour cream.

  16. That filling looks an awful lot like the filling for my chicken enchiladas – but I also add corn and cilantro and green chiles. I hate when enchiladas or burritos are boring – I like to put an actual FILLING in there with veggies and spices and herbs, not just meat and cheese! Looks good.

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