A typical Saturday or Sunday morning for me consists of coffee, cereal, and Food Network consumed in excessive amounts. My excitement compares to a child that has eaten every box of chocolate under the tree on Christmas morning and has untamed energy as a result. As I learn new cooking tips, my mind starts churning and I immediately think of menus for the weeks to come. This past weekend I watched Guy Fieri attempt to create a Mexican style dinner with a special guest from one of Arizona’s most authentic restaurants, Los Taquitos. In the episode, they provide basic Mexican spice combinations and also unleash interesting techniques. Apparently, the favorite salsa among Americans, Pico de Gallo, is actually referred to as lazy salsa in Mexico. Cold chopped tomatoes, raw onion, diced jalapeno, and a squeeze of lime does not hold as much prestige in the Mexican culture as it does in the U.S. Real Mexican salsa consists of roasted or boiled ingredients that are blended and probably much spicier than most American taste buds can handle.
For a truly authentic cookbook, Daniel Hoyer, provides a variety of flavors from different regions of the country. His recipe collection, Culinary Mexico, also gives detailed instructions on how to roast core ingredients in many authentic sauces. I used this book as a reference while creating my own roasted salsa that tastes delicious on top of shredded chicken burritos or enchiladas. For the chicken, I would recommend buying chicken parts on the bone(thighs, wings, breasts, etc.) Although it is not necessary to use meat on the bone, the chicken will have much more moisture and flavor. Slow cooking will also infuse more spices into the meat and create a tenderness that shreds easily. If pressed for time during a busy week, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store provides a great alternative. See below for my chicken burritos and authentic Mexican salsa recipe.
Malbec from Argentina serves as a nice accompaniment to this tomato based sauce and chicken. Malbec has a medium body similar to a Merlot but with a very different personality. Originating in France, this grape varietal can be seen in many Bordeaux blends with Cab, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Incredibly juicy with notes of red berries and plums, this grape shines as a solo star in Mendoza, Argentina. With a smooth finish, consumers can’t get enough of this varietal.
Chicken Burritos with a Roasted Tomato Salsa
For the Salsa:
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 2 cloves roasted garlic
- 5 roasted tomatoes
- 3 roasted jalapenos( depends on preferred level of spice)
- 1 lime squeezed
- salt (according to personal preference)
Roast tomatoes, jalapenos, and garlic in oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Chop and mince. Meanwhile, saute onion in oil or butter. Add roasted ingredients, lime, salt, and cilantro.
For the chicken:
- 1 lb. Chicken parts on the bone (thighs, breasts, wings, etc)
- salt, pepper, cumin, fresh oregano
- 1 lime squeezed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup adobo sauce (Goya brand – canned chipotle chiles in adobo, use sauce only)
- 2 cups culinary chicken stock
Marinate chicken in all ingredients above except chicken stock. Cook chicken parts on each side over medium high heat until bronzed and skin is caramelized. Reduce heat to medium low, add chicken broth and cook for about 20 more minutes. Pull chicken off the bone into shredded parts.
For the burritos, any or all ingredients used below:
- flour tortillas
- shredded chicken
- diced red onion
- black beans
- grilled corn
- sweet peppers
- queso fresco or sour cream
- roasted salsa