There are times when you have a taste for something, like good Mexican food, you need to skip the chains, and head for the smaller, “Mom and Pop” type restaurants. Sometimes you might even find the best food in taverns and bars.
My first summer in Denver, I had just that experience. We wanted Mexican food, and was directed to a tavern style eatery. We called it the “Star light lounge”. I don’t remember if that was its real name…
This place had a bar on one side and a small restaurant on the other. Even though the look of the place was not something we’d expected, small, brightly painted, with a black ceiling with silver sparkles all over it, and not one word of English spoke in the bar. our meal was incredibly good. The chips were hand made and warm. And the salsa was just the right amount of spicy and tangy-sweet.
For the main entre we had chicken and green chili burritos. All I can say is Oh, My God! I had Mexican food before, and I spent some time in Colorado when I was little, that’s how a developed a taste for it. To start with the burrito was huge. The chicken was shredded and mixed with peppers and cheese, and smothered with a topping of cheese and sour cream.
There have been other chicken enchiladas, and other burritos, but that was the best.
This is my version, based on taste, it is very close.
1 lb chicken breasts without bone or skin
1 can green chills, mild heat save the juice.
1 cup sour cream
½ jalapeño seeded and chopped
½ small green peppers chopped
½ small onion, chopped.
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 cup cooked chili beans
½ cup chicken stock
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
½ cup Monterey jack cheese shredded.
8 large tortillas
Salt and pepper to taste
Place chicken in a baking dish. Add the broth, 1Tablespoon of the onions and 1 tablespoon of the green peppers 1 tsp of the chopped chilies, and the juice from the green chili can. Cover with plastic and set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Take plastic off chicken. Add the chilies, the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and peppers. Bake for 30 minutes. When the chicken is cool, shred the chicken with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste Mix the shredded chicken with the pepper mixture
To ensemble, scoop 3 tablespoons of beans and 2 oz of chicken on each tortilla. Add 3 oz of cheese and 1 tablespoon of sour cream, fold up. Add burritos to a clean baking; add the rest of the sour cream and the cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.