Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dissectable recipe - Cafe Rio(ish) chicken burritos

This is three recipes in one (one for the rice, one for the chicken, and one for the dressing), and you just feel free to dissect this and use it as you will. Also, there's no picture with this one because we ate it all before I even thought of my camera. Next time we make it, I'll snap a pretty one for ya!

Poached Mexican Chicken
Time needed: 10 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy
Materials needed: pot, 1 cup chicken stock, 1 T cumin, 1 t garlic, 1 t cayenne pepper, 1 t lime juice, 1 t red pepper flakes, 4 chicken tenders or 2 chicken breasts

Dump everything in the pot except the chicken and bring to a boil. Once your mixture is boiling, stick in the chicken, and poach until cooked through. Flip the chicken halfway through to ensure even cooking. Once poached, take out and let cook a bit before shredding. Keep any extra poaching liquid to use next time you make this stuff. Feel free to adjust any seasonings according to your taste.

Jessica's Mexican Rice
Time needed: 10 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy
Materials needed: 1 cup water, 1 cup chicken stock, 2 cups instant rice, 1 t lime juice, 1 diced tomato (juices, seeds and all), 1 t cumin

Dump everything but the rice into a microwave safe container and mix (you're using half water and half chicken stock to add a bit more flavor). Then add your rice, microwave according to package directions, let all the water absorb, and there you go!

Knock-Off Cafe Rio Salad Dressing (adapted from Recipezaar)
Time needed: 5 minutes prep, plus overnight
Level of difficulty: easy
Materials needed: 2 cups no fat mayo, 2 cups no fat sour cream (we're saving calories here, and you'll never know!), 12 sprigs cilantro, 3 tomatillos (they look like green tomatoes with a husk), 2 green onions, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeno pepper (seeds, membrane and all), juice of 1 lime, 1-2 t salt, 1/4 t cumin (optional)

Chuck it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Be sure you roughly dice your tomatillos and jalapeno before you chuck them in the blender. It is essential you let this sit in the fridge overnight, because otherwise, you taste all the individual flavor components rather than the blend of them all. Trust me, it's so worth the wait. This makes so much dressing, but don't worry, it'll be gone in no time. You'll find all sorts of ways to use it. And, because we used no fat mayo and sour cream, we're way better off than with most dressings. This will last about 2 weeks in the fridge. Also, if you are scared of using the whole jalapeno, just use 2/3 of it and see how that goes for you.

So now that we know the directions for the components, let me tell you how I put it all together...
Cafe Rio(ish) chicken burritos
Time needed: 2-3 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy
Materials needed: poached Mexican chicken, Jessica's Mexican Rice, knock-off Cafe Rio salad dressing, 1 can black beans, 1 package flour tortillas, lettuce, shredded cheese (flavor/quantity to your taste)

Heat up your tortilla on the stovetop in a skillet just long enough to warm through. Pack as much of everything into your tortilla shell as you can, fold it up, and go in for the kill. Try not to die of flavor overload because then you won't be able to eat this again, and that would be sad.

But wait! you ask. What if I want to eat it as a Cafe Rio knock off salad? Go for it! I'm not stopping you! I love their salads, but I've found this works better as a burrito. But you do what you want - remember these are just skills you can take and use as you wish!


  1. I have only tried to make their pork. I will have to try this chicken some time. It looks yummy!


Whatcha thinkin?