by Mike Bradley
Mexican food has long been my favorite food variety. The cheeses, spices and fresh flavors always satisfy my craving. We are lucky enough to live within moments of a fantastic Mexican restaurant, but not everyone is quite so fortunate. So, I decided to develop this restaurant-style chicken burrito for those who may not live close to a Mexican restaurant (and, no, Taco Bell doesn’t count), or for people who need to feed a family or crowd. This burrito required a lot of work to craft and I only recommend it if you’re going to make a lot. For an occasion, a holiday, whatever it is you’ll want your work to be worthwhile.
One aspect of this recipe that I love is the use of the slow cooker for the chicken. It makes the meat extremely tender and ideal to pull into a shredded consistency for Mexican dishes. You can easily start cooking the chicken in the morning, shred it when you get home from work and set to “warm” until you’re ready to use it.
This recipe goes the route of the classic burrito, which contains rice and beans. You can use one or the other if you wish, but I recommend both. It creates a comfort food effect and adds great dimension to the meal. But, the real showstopper here is the cheese sauce. For this burrito I made a sour cream, Chihuahua and Queso Fresco cheese sauce.
Guacamole adds a hint of spice and a whole lot of creamy texture. The only problem is once made, guacamole tends to turn brown quickly, which is not very appealing. A little tip is to add some lemon juice to keep the guacamole from going brown if not immediately used.
Pile all the fixings on top of large burrito-sized flour tortillas, roll them up tightly, and top with the perfect sauces. First, put your burrito sauce on – I prefer Chi Chi’s enchilada sauce myself, even if it isn’t traditional. Then, cover it in your cheese sauce, your favorite fresh salsa, shredded lettuce and some more shredded or crumbled cheese if you like.
It’s a fork-and-knife kind of burrito, so go ahead and dig in.
Restaurant-Style Chicken Burrito
Yield: 5 or 6 large burritos
- 4 pounds chicken breast
- 1 packet McCormick burrito seasoning
- 2 small (4 oz) cans green chiles
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups dry, white rice
- 2 tbsp freshly minced cilantro
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 cup chihuahua cheese
- 1/2 cup queso fresco
- 2 avocados
- 1 packet McCormick guacamole seasoning
- Optional lemon juice for guacamole
- 1 (10 oz) can Chi-Chi’s enchilada sauce
- Shredded lettuce
- Add 2 cups of water to your 7-quart slow cooker; mix in the burrito seasoning and 1 can of chiles. Then, place the chicken into the mixture. Cover and cook on low for about 5-6 hours.
- Once the chicken is done cooking, gently remove it from the slow cooker into a large bowl and shred the chicken with a couple of forks. Then, put the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker with the accumulated juices and stir it around to soak that up. Lastly, add the second can of chiles. Cover again and turn it down to “warm” until you’re ready to use it.
- Add 2 cups of water to the 2 cups of rice; bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all of the water and is soft and fluffy. At the same time, drain the black beans into a fine strainer and run under water until all of the juice from the can is washed off. Add the beans to a small pot and add just enough water to cover them, bringing to a boil. Then cover and simmer on low for the same amount of time as the rice.
- While the rice cooks you can mince some fresh stemmed cilantro – this can be done to taste, but I used about 2 tablespoons. Once the rice and beans are done cooking, combine them into a large bowl with the fresh cilantro and about 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Set the mixture aside until ready to prepare burritos.
- Sauté 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour in a pan. Cook until the butter has melted and completely absorbed the flour. Next, add some heavy cream and half-and-half, about 1/2 cup of each. Heat that until just before boiling then add in 1/3 cup sour cream. Heat again until just before boiling and add in 1 cup shredded chihuahua cheese and 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco. Allow the sauce to simmer until it has thickened and is very smooth. Keep warm until ready to make burritos.
- Core the avocados and mash them up with the guacamole mix. Add some lemon juice to keep the guacamole from going brown if not immediately used.
- Now, it’s time to assemble the burrito! Start with two large burrito sized tortillas, microwave for 45-60 seconds. Lay them out flat so that they overlap by about 1/3. Add some guacamole or sour cream to seal the connection where the two touch. Put a heaping portion of rice and beans down first followed by a good amount of your shredded chicken. Next add your guacamole and some more shredded cheese. Tuck the ends of the tortilla in and roll tightly.
- Top the burrito with Chi-Chi’s enchilada sauce, then cover it in your cheese sauce and your favorite fresh salsa. Finally, add some shredded lettuce and some more shredded or crumbled cheese if you like.
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