Feb 28, 2008

Curry Chicken 'Burritos'

So, I had a package lavash bread from Trader Joe's sitting in my pantry needing to be used before it became hard. This, along with a long unopened jar of Chutney ('Indian Relish from Trader Joes), sparked an idea. Burritos! And, I have to say...they turned out amazing. You owe it to yourself to try this. Seriously.

If you have never played with things like curry powder or garam masala before, this is a great way to do it. You get get both spices at any grocery store - but they can often be way overpriced. There probably isn't a place in the world that doesn't have an Indian or middle eastern market of some sort around - you can buy bags of these spices for cheaper there (like the ones pictured) and they usually are way better. A lot of these other ingredients (the bread and chutney, for example), if not at your regular grocery store you go to, can be found at places like Trader Joes and Whole Foods.

Curried Chicken "Burritos"

4 Organic Chicken thighs (local and free range of course...luckily around here that is easy to find)

Garam Masala (I just did it to taste, but, it was alot...)

3 Tbs. Spicy Curry Powder (or regular curry powder and cayenne pepper to taste)

3 or 4 Tbs. Worcestshire Sauce (I was looking for something 'smokey' tasting and this worked out just fine)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I use the 'light' kind for everyday cooking, the flavor is more subtle)

4 large cloves of garlic, smashed

2 cups vegetable broth or stock (can use chicken too of course)

2 pieces lavash bread or Naan

1 can Chickpeas (also known as Garbonzo beans), drained

1 large carrot, chopped

1 jar Indian Chutney - preferably something with Tamarind and tomato

First coat the thighs in the spices, so it makes a thick rub on the outside (mostly on the top or smooth side of the thigh). Put in a bowl and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce and Olive oil to help coat the thighs in the spice along with the cloves of garlic. Let stand for a couple of hours in the fridge.

Next, heat the oil in a deep saute or casserole pan on high or med-high heat.

Once the pan and oil is nice and hot, put the thighs spice-side down in the oil to brown the tops. Also, put the cloves of garlic in the oil as well. After a minute or two, flip the chicken and let the other side brown for just a minute. Add about one cup of the broth, along with the Chickpeas and chopped carrot. Make sure the broth doesn't cover the chicken (so it won't wash off the browned spices on the top).

Cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer for about an hour. Keep and eye on it, about half way through you will probably need to add the remainder of the broth. Also, about half way through, kind of mash down the chicken and let it break up a bit so its will be like shredded chicken in the burrito.

Once chicken is done and chickpeas and carrots are soft, remove from heat. Remove chicken from the pan with tongs, letting any liquid drip off so it doesn't make the burrito soggy.

Drain off the liquid and put Chickpeas and carrots and garlic cloves in a bowl. Mash them up with the back of a spoon to a nice soft consistancy - these are the 'refried beans' of the burrito.

Now we are ready to build the burrito. Just spread the chickpeas, then heap on the chicken, breaking it up so it has that shredded chicken consistancy, and then top with some big spoonfuls of the chutney. Wrap up and you are all set (if you use lavash bread - heat it a bit just like you would a tortilla so it wraps nice and doesn't break).

I found that this is actually really good cold too - so its a great picnic or lunch food also (I am always looking for good stuff to bring for lunch!).

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