Baked Burrito Madness
Aaaaaand we’re back.
Here’s a dish that was born out of what I had in the freezer and fridge and pantry while enjoying a drink and definitely not wanting to go to the grocery store to buy anything else.
That’s called “true inspiration”.
With chicken bits and tomato sauce and the usual plethora of awesome dried spices in the pantry, this was an easy one. Good to do on a weekend when you’ve got time to stew things properly. The chicken really needs a good long bath in those awesome flavours to really mellow out and get tender. It’s the least you can do.
2 lbs chicken thighs and/or legs, skin on, bone in, cheap as chips
good pinch salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
two cloves garlic, finely chopped
28 oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Hefty pinch of dried oregano
1 cup water or chicken stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar
hot sauce to taste
6 flour tortillas
Half a red onion, sliced and quick-pickled (see note)
1/2 cup of your favourite salsa
1 cup smoked cheddar or cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Heat a heavy fry pan (cast iron is ideal) over medium-high heat for several minutes. Meanwhile season the chicken with salt and pepper all over. Add vegetable or olive oil to the pan, then layer in the chicken in a single layer (you’ll likely have to do this in two batches). Fry the chicken until brown on both sides, then remove to a baking pan that’s big enough to hold all the chicken in a single layer. Heat your oven to 350 F at this point. Once all chicken is browned and removed, add the finely chopped onion to the pan and sauce for a minute. Add the garlic and saute for another thirty seconds. Add the tomato sauce to the pan along with the chili powder, cumin, oregano, brown sugar and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and let boil for a minute or so. Add a cup of water or chicken stock to thin it and pour that over the chicken in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes until the chicken meat is just about falling off the bone. During this baking process, you can make a simple pickled red onion by soaking finely sliced onion in a mix of 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar and a good pinch of salt for 30 minutes, then drain well. Remove the foil from the chicken and bake another 15 minutes uncovered. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred all of the meat off the bones with a fork. Mix the salsa with the shredded chicken meat. Heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat (that cast iron pan again is ideal). Toast each of the flour tortillas until lightly browned and softened. Fill each tortilla with 1/6th of the chicken meat. Top with a bit of pickled red pepper and grated smoked cheddar or regular cheddar. Roll it up while tucking in the sides and place in a greased baking pan. Assemble the rest of the burritos this way. Top with the reserved sauce used to cook the chicken, any leftover pickled red onion and the mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350F. You didn’t turn your oven off, did you? Goof.