Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Chipotle Chicken Burritos

For the Tex-Mex lover in New England, DIY chow is a necessity imposed by the appalling quality of "Mexican" restaurants up here in Yankee Land (I still have not forgiven the Border Cafe for serving fajitas with Cajun spiced rice: presumably because Louisiana is next to Texas and Texas is next to Mexico). This week I managed to churn out some delicious burritos. If you're interested, here's the recipe (such as it is):

1. Roast one chicken. I chose a Perdue roaster because they were buy-one-get-one-free, but feel free to depart upward in quality. My preferred seasoning is a rub with a split garlic clove or two (toss these in the cavity afterward), kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper massaged all over the outside, and two tablespoons of sweet butter squeezed under the skin of the breasts (I have no knowledge that this actually does anything, but I like to think of it as the lazy woman's basting). After 1.75 hours at 400 degrees, the skin was deliciously crispy on top. We had three meals from the chicken, and then I picked another 2 cups or so of meat off the carcass and chopped/shredded it fine.

2. Make your own chipotle salsa. A trip to Christina's Spice Shop in Inman Square (try their ice cream!) yielded a bag of fragrant chipotle peppers. I used the recipe from the NY Times article with mixed results; I did not soak the peppers long enough or chop the garlic fine enough, especially since my blender is not a good substitute for a food processor. Some old-school chopping rectified the situation, though. Wash hands carefully! I nearly ruined my contacts.

3. Buy some monterey jack cheese, tortillas, and refried beans. I hear through the grapevine that the latter two items are not all the hard to make yourself. If you're more adventurous than I am, go for it. Otherwise, tortillas are in the refrigerated section of the grocery in these parts (presumably because they don't get consumed rapidly enough to be left in the bread aisle as they should be) and canned beans will do just fine.

4. Roll up some shredded chicken, chipotle salsa, beans, and thinly sliced cheese in a tortilla. Warm. Eat. Sniffle as heat from peppers does wonderful things to your sinuses. Pervade your classroom with the delicious aroma of burritos. Taunt classmates (optional).

*The only thing that could have made this better was rice in the burrito, but I have yet to find a good recipe for Tex-Mex rice like you get at a greasy enchilada place. It cannot have corn in it, for the love of all that's holy!
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