We are the Castejóns!
Here we are in Charleston, SC.
The Spanish one is a culinary student working at a great local restaurant and the American one is an interpreter who cooks. Guess which is which. We garden, we cook, we eat, we Instagram it, and now we blog! Join us here for some delicious recipes, Charleston living anecdotes, and the occasional comment on life.
Ingredients that keep giving is what we like in this house. Do a little prep and you can make serveral meals. Yesterday we marinated some chicken, grilled it up in the cast iron, and diced it. Then, we made some mexican-restaurant-style rice mixed with black beans and corn. Finally, I did a little veggie chopping. All of that in a tortilla for burritos (or without for burrito bowls if you like), on top of tortilla chips in the oven for nachos (put the fresh veggies on top after they come out of the oven), added to some mixed greens for a tex-mex ensalada, or simmered with your favorite broth for a warm taco soup. It sure is nice for the restaurant worker in our house to have fresh, whole food to eat when he gets home at 1am after a busy night in the kitchen! I put the recipe for the burritos below, but use those same ingredients to create the dishes I mentioned above and you’ll be set for days. Because of the ingredients’ versatility, I’m calling this the “Multi-meal Burrito”. Enjoy!
1 whole chicken, de-boned and skinless
1.5 cups of your favorite marinade (homemade if possible)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup of rice
3 T tomato paste
1 T paprika
3.5 cups chicken stock, warmed (homemade if possible)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1/4c. chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
3/4c. of your favorite salsa (homemade if possible)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated moneray jack cheese
1 heart of romaine, chopped in thin strips
1/2c. sour cream
1 avocado, diced
very large tortilla wraps
To make the chicken: Marinade your chicken for atleast 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Pour 3-4 T of oil in a cast iron skillet (You can use another type of pan. We just prefer cast iron.) Heat the cast iron on med-high heat until you start to see slight ripples in the oil- we are going to sear! When the oil is ready, put the chicken in the pan. You will probably have to do this in batches as you do not want to over crowd the pan. Salt and pepper the side that is facing up. Do not move the chicken for the first 2 minutes so as not to disturb the sear. After 2 minutes, without moving the chicken drop the burner to a medium-low temperature, cover, and cook about 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, turn the chicken over and cook until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove the chicken and let rest under aluminum foil for 10 minutes (This will bring the temperature up to a safe 165 degrees.) before uncovering, cooling, and cubing. Your chicken is now prepped!
To make the Mexican-restaurant-style rice: Heat 2 T of oil on medium heat in a deep, medium-sized pan. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and very slightly golden around the edges. Add a pinch or two of salt to the onions. Add the rice and stir frequently for 3 minutes, then mix in the tomato paste, a pinch or two more of salt, and paprika and cook for another 2 minutes. (If things seem to be cooking too quickly turn down the burner slightly, although it is normal for some of the paste and spice to appear “stuck” to the bottom of the pan.) Deglaze the pan with a ladle of the broth.
When you have scraped all the good bits from the bottom of the pan, add the rest of the stock and stir. Bring the rice to a boil and then turn down the heat to very low. Cook until there is no more stock in the bottom of the pan- if you like the socarrat* (And who doesn’t?! *see note below) then cook as long as you like on extremely low heat, monitoring constantly until your desired level of deliciousness is reached. If you’re not a fan of socarrat then the rice is done when there is no more water at the bottom of the pan, but before it starts to stick. Take the rice off of the heat and mix in the beans, corn, and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the burrito: Steam (or heat in a microwave) a tortilla wrap. Spoon on about 1/2 c. of the rice and bean mixture and about 1/2c. of the chicken pieces. Add on lettuce, both cheeses, avocado, sour cream, and salsa (put as much or as little of these ingredients as you like). Tuck in the ends and roll it up!
*Socarrat is a Spanish word for the crispy rice that comes on the bottom of a paella (a Spanish rice dish). In Spain, this is a coveted part of the dish, as it has lots of concentrated flavor from the “over-cooking”. The more you know, right?
So, thanks for reading our first post and y’all come back soon!