It’s no secret that we Sydneysiders have a diverse culinary world at our feet. From ingredients to restaurants, we can find almost any kind of food, from Korean to Thai to Japanese to Malaysian to Italian, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Israeli, Lebanese…the list goes on, although I have had some trouble finding Ethiopian. And thus, you might conclude, especially if you were American and absolutely if you were Texan, surely there must be some good Mexican food somewhere.

However, it seems there’s only room for so many restaurants and, much like tapas, Mexican food is considered  prestige enough to be on the pricey side here in Aus. Add to this the assertion my Texan friend Ms. Phonetic makes that Aussie Mexican grills aren’t really worth bothering with (plus the argument she had with the owner of one of them when he wouldn’t let her have cheese on her taco, even if she paid extra, because it wasn’t ‘authentic’) and you really might as well have a crack at making them yourself.

I quite like Mad Mex, Guzman y Gomez et al, especially their chicken burritos. This recipe is my own take on them. I love the smokiness of the chipotle marinade and the way it pairs so perfectly with the fluffy Mexican rice. Wrap it a warm tortilla with a dollop of guacamole and you’re in heaven.

Lau’s Feisty Chicken Burritos
Serves 4 (2 small burritos per person)

You will need:
For the chicken:
700g chicken breast
2-3 Chipotles in adobo (finely chopped)
Olive oil

1 portion of Mexican Rice (see previous post)

For the Guacamole:
2 Ripe Avocados
1 lemon or lime
Freshly ground black pepper

To finish:
Chopped lettuce and tomato
1 packet of flour tortillas- I prefer Mission Tortillas, they come in a 12 pack and you can just freeze the leftovers (if there are any).
Sour cream (if desired)
Mexican Hot Sauce (I use El Yucateco Green)
Smokey BBQ sauce (I use Fountain, they even have a facebook fan page!)

Marinate the chicken in the chipotles and some of their sauce, paprika, a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil overnight, or at least 2 hours.

Next prepare the rice and while it is cooking (it takes about 20 minutes), make the Guacamole and chop the lettuce and tomato. To make the guacamole, Mash 2 ripe avocados with lemon or lime juice, freshly cracked pepper and salt to taste.

Heat a frypan with a little olive oil until hot. Cook the chicken and marinade on both sides. It’s ok if it gets a little charred as long as it’s cooked quickly and all the way through. When it’s done, slice it into strips. This means you don’t have to chop up raw chicken and it’s actually much moister cooked this way.

To assemble, microwave each tortilla for 10 seconds. Place some chicken, rice, guac, salad, sauce and sour cream on each tortilla and wrap. Enjoy!

So, readers, where do you get your fave Mexican food?

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10 Responses to The quest for Mex part 2 – Feisty Chicken Burritos

  1. Jill says:

    Yum Lauren, these look so good. Thank-you for giving me a mexi-craving prior to 9am.

    Have you guys been to Trippy Taco down here? Vego-mexo – if you haven’t, we must go next time you’re down! Tofu asada burritos = heaven!!

    • Lau says:

      I’ve heard of it, but never been. Sounds grand!

    • Senhor R says:

      Trippy Tacos used to have a stand at EC!

      It was a highlight and a much sought-after and spoken about thing. Unfortunately when they opened their shop they stopped but I have fond memories that haven’t been consumated for 5 years so totally down with going!

  2. Gaby says:

    Now I know what I want for Xmas brunch!
    I’ve been to Guzman y Gomez and to Montezuma’s (Crows Nest), both good but not 100% Mexican.

  3. Andrea says:

    I’m a big Guzman fan (and am lucky enough to know some lovely south Americans who work there and give me brilliant discounts!). I also LIke Tomatillo in Kings Cross which is the same style as Guzman (but was around before them so that was my place of choice in those times!).

    I have to say that your Burrito looks delish!!

  4. Natalie says:

    I had a mexican craving too! Made a chilli non carne soup last night, will be blogging it tomorrow. You can’t get decent Mexican food anywhere here, but at least it gets me being creative with the chipotles in my kitchen!!

  5. Kit says:

    Ms. Phonetic sounds like she could be me. A Texan moving to Sydney always gets helpful locals talking about how delightful the burritos are at Sad Mex. I’ve actually been able to come to terms with eating them but if I want Mexican food they’ll never satisfy that need.

    I’ve also noticed that a lot of restaurant reviews tout ‘proper Mexican not Tex Mex’ as if it’s a competition. Do they equate Tex Mex with burrito shops? We always thought those were a nutty California thing!

    I’ve been making Tex-Mex at home and have had some decent results. However, I have had problems with the rare availability of fresh jalepenos (I gave up on finding habaneros long ago) and the utter lack of soft vegetable shortening for making tortillas.

    End lesson? You’re still on the best track with DIY. Just let us know if you find fresh ingredients or Mexican Chorizo.

    • Lau says:

      Yeah, I think people confuse authenticity and regionality on a regular basis. Texas is a place, it has food. Mexico is a a place, it also has food. One is not neccesarily any better than the other. One is no ‘more real’ than the other. Not to mention the many, many regions within mexico itself! I feel like in Australia, Tex Mex had become shorthand for ‘inauthentic’ or ‘slathered in cheese’.

      I’ve bought fresh jalapenos at the Redfern fruit market on Regent street. They will get in anything you want that they can, you just need to ask. In terms of veggie shortening, I’m not sure, but JJ over at 84thand3rd is a mad keen tortilla maker, she may know. Meanwhile, I know mission have started making corn tortillas, I’ve got them from the IGA and from major supermarkets. And I don’t know if you’ve been to Fiji Spice Market in newtown, they have a pretty decent mexican ingredient section.

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