This happens to me all the time. I make a dreaded afternoon excursion to WalMart, and by the time I’m finished navigating the place with my troops, I’m not about to go from there to a grocery store to start all over again. It’s 105 degrees outside for crying out loud.
So, I always ponder the the 4 or so aisles of foodstuffs wondering if I could create something for dinner other than Kraft Mac and Cheese if I had to rely solely on items purchased there. Mine is no super Wal-Mart mind you. There is not a fresh anything at this one.
I saw tortillas. Then I remembered that I had some frozen chicken at home…and I was inspired. See, what WalMart does have is a fairly comprehensive section dedicated to its Spanish language clientele and to me that means fun. For about 5 or 6 bucks I scored big burrito tortillas, black beans, a big bag of long grain rice, salsa verde, and green enchilada sauce. The plan crystallized in my mind…black bean and spicy chicken burritos with green salsa. Done. Calf rope. Let’s head to the house.
When I got home I realized that I also had a couple of limes and an onion on my counter. Is your mouth watering yet? Lime scented rice for the burritos. I was sort of channeling Chipotles burritos although mine didn’t turn out nearly as large as theirs do. I think they must have those special baby blanket sized tortillas, or I have a lot to learn about burrito stuffing. Chipotle is a good chain restaurant that serves fast food in that they have surprisingly good food that happens to be fast. I had to add this explanation because my mother has never heard of Chipotle. Poor thing.
Basically, I did the following. I thawed several chicken breasts about half way. I find chicken much easier to slice slightly frozen. I then threw the chicken into a quick brine. I left the chicken in the brine for a very short period, about 20 minutes. I was slightly afraid I would ruin the chicken since it was already sliced but it worked great. Any more than 20 minutes and I think they could become very weird little pieces of meat. I then rinsed the chicken, tossed it with spices, and I pan grilled it. I wrapped the spicy chicken in a warm tortilla with lime scented rice, green chili black beans, and sour cream. For toppings, I used sour cream and salsa verde which I had warmed in the microwave for a bit. It is so good warm.
2 chicken breasts, sliced
¼ teaspoon each of cayenne, chili powder, oregano, kosher salt, paprika
1-1/3 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
One lime, zested and juiced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can green chili enchilada sauce
½ white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salsa Verde, for topping and for eating with chips
Sour Cream, for topping
4 flour tortillas, burrito size
Slice the chicken breasts into 1/3 inch slices. Brine in a solution of ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup salt and about 5 cups water for 20 minutes. Then rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Mix the spices and season the chicken. Cook the chicken in a skillet or grill pan. Remove it to a plate and let it rest for a bit. Chop the chicken.
Meanwhile, cook the rice in 2 cups of water. Simmer, covered, until the water is gone and then remove from the heat. Stir in the zest and juice of one lime.For the beans, sauté the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until the onion is softened a bit, about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant. At this point, add about ½ cup of the green enchilada sauce (or more). Throw in the drained and rinsed beans and stir to combine. Allow the beans to cook until they are heated through.
Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven (2oo degrees for 10 or so minutes).
When you are ready to serve, take each tortilla and top it with lime scented rice. Then add a quarter of the beans. Then add a quarter of the chopped chicken. Top with sour cream. Now roll the burrito tightly, tucking in the ends. Serve topped with green salsa and tortilla chips.
This is really good stuff, and a whole lot of food for a little bit of money. Don’t forget to buy a bag of chips. The green salsa is particularly good warmed. Put about a cup in a microwave safe dish and zap it for about 30 seconds. Stir it and zap it again until it is nice and warm. Enjoy.