Killer Burritos

Here in the chicagoland area you can get yourself some fine burritos from many of the authentic mexican restaurants around. My absolute favorite place to get them is Ino’s. They make huge, delicious burrito’s for relatively cheap.

Now I’ve made my fair share of burritos, but none of them even com close to comparing with Ino’s. Until recently I hadn’t thought much of it, but in my present state of poverty it became a worthy goal.

Skipping to the end of the story, I have created a burrito that is not the same as Ino’s, but it’s good enough to be proud of. I’m going to share my preliminary, unmeasured recipe with you.

You will need:

+Frozen or fresh chicken. No canned stuff. Preferrably boneless, skinless.

+Refried beans. You would do best to not use Old El Paso, for the flavor is too natural-gas-esque.

+Some big, non-refrigerated burrito shells

+Salt shaker

+Taco seasoning

+Water

+A sauce pan

+A frying pan

+A stove

+Some mozzerella style cheese (mexican melting or quesadilla cheese is much better)

Ok. Burritos are made best with shredded, or stranded chicken. How the heck do you do that? Uncooked chicken doesn’t shred, but cooked chicken chunks too much. The secret is to poach the chicken. The creates a tender, flavorful chicken.

If the chicken is frozen, you need to thaw it. Don’t use a microwave or wait overnight, put the chicken in a bowl of cold tap water and chance the water occasionally (the water will get colder). I have even used warm water to speed things along. So long as you use the chicken RIGHT AWAY, you should be safe.

Now, place your chicken into a saucepan – the smallest saucepan into which the chicken will fit while touching the bottom. Then cover the chicken with water. Then add the taco seasoning. And mix it in real good. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to just under boiling. That is, there should be little movement in the water at all – you are simmering the chicken partially covered for about 20 minutes. It is Ok if the chicken is not completely done, you will be cooking it again later.

after 20 minutes, let the chicken cool in the pan, with the juice for about 15 minutes. Then you may want to cool the chicken some more.

Get out a plate and use two forks and your fingers to shred up the chicken. Woohoo! You have just done the hardest part.

Now get a frying pan and heat it up. Get it to a temperature where water troplets fizzle pretty violently (between 325 and 375. Any higher and you risk damaging the pan and smoking the oil) Now add some oil to the pan, enough to create a layer over the whole pan (1 tablespoon perhaps?). Drop that shredded chicken on the oil and enjoy the sizzle! Add salt now. A good number of shakes. The salt here is to make the meat juicy and flavorful, so don’t be shy. Taste it to be sure. You can also add some of the poaching juice to moisten it up. Stir it around and flip it around occasionally. I cannot tell you how long to cook it right now – It should be starting to brown a bit, with some smaller pieces yellowing a bit. At least five minutes. Now, while this is going, get those refried beans out. Scoop out at least half the can into a small saucepan, and heat them over medium heat, stirring frequently until steaming, then reduce heat to low and cover. Get out a burrito shell and moisten it a bit (I have a sprayer of filtered water). Spread a spoonfull or two of beans on the shell, staying closer to one edge, and do not go all the way out to the sides. It should be a little under 1/4″ thick. Then put the chicken on top of the beans. Finally, cover it with mozzerella cheese (although mexican melting / quesadilla cheese will taste much better. Chihuaua (sp?) cheese is very good also.)

Not to fold the beast. Fold the edge closer to the fillings up of ther fillings and kind of roll it tight. Then flip one side in. Then roll it over once, flip the other side in, the roll it over again. Now set it in the frying pan with the flap side down, cover it and heat it on low for a few minutes to help melt the cheese.

Viola! You now have an amazing burrito! Eat it gosh darn it!

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