Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos with Fresh-Chile Sauce

There’s nothing shy about Tex-Mex cooking, and these burritos can testify to that. Tender chicken, a spicy chile sauce, savory black beans, shredded cheddar—all the stuff that puts the Tex in Mex. And don’t forget those flour tortillas and sour cream…

If you usually use bottled hot sauce or salsa in your burritos, give this fresh-chile sauce a try. It’s easy and fast, and I think you’ll think the flavor is worth it. Too much heat? Add a little more chopped bell pepper in place of one of the serranos.

Note: Cooking your own chicken for this dish is easy—and a whole lot better than the preshredded stuff from a store. I simmered two medium-sized, bone-in breasts (about 1-1/2 lbs total) in chicken broth for 25 minutes, transferred them to a plate to cool, then shredded the meat. There was a little more than two cups, but that extra chicken goes well in a salad the next day!

And a tip: Be sure to gently warm the tortillas—they’re much easier to fold and roll up when warm.

Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • sea salt
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained, if canned)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas, stacked, wrapped in foil, and warmed in a 250° F oven
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • sour cream, to taste
Sauce Ingredients 
Prepared Ingredients
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the serrano and habanero chiles, garlic, bell pepper, and 1/2 the chopped onion. Sauté 3 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, broth, and chile powder and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chile mixture to a food processor and process until the solids are pureed. Return the sauce to the pan and set aside.
Chile Mixture Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Sauce 
Pureed Fresh-Chile Sauce
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the remaining chopped onion and sauté 3 minutes.
  2. Add the shredded chicken, beans, oregano, and all but 1/2 cup sauce to the skillet. Season lightly with salt and cook, stirring several times, until hot throughout, 10 minutes. (Keep the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce warm over low heat.)
Onions Beginning to Cook
Chicken Mixture
  1. Lay the tortillas on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 of the chicken mixture in the center of 1 tortilla. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese on top and dollop with sour cream.
  2. Fold the bottom side (closest to you) over the filling, tucking it slightly underneath. Fold over both the left and right sides, then roll up to the top side. Place seam-side down on a platter and repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
Place the filling in the middle 
Add the cheese and sour cream 
Roll up the bottom and tuck under
Fold over left and right sides 
Roll forward to close the burrito
Transfer the 1/2 cup of warm sauce to a small bowl. Serve the burritos, passing the extra sauce at the table.

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos with Fresh-Chile Sauce


  1. This looks so delicious--will give it a try soon. Thanks for sharing at #OMHGWW

  2. Thanks, Donna --- I appreciate the opportunity to share!