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I think that Jamie and I have been cooking a version of this both together and independently, since going to uni. It’s a staple in most households I’m sure, and if it’s not, then it should be. We cook this regularly, and now that we make our own tortilla it’s pretty much perfect (for us). It’s probably totally unauthentic and not at all Mexican, but it is delicious and we each have our roles, although we do always try to look busy so the other one has to grate the cheese. We also always have cooking wine on the go. It’s just a fun dinner and when it all comes together, you know you’re in for a treat.

So the component parts tonight are:

Tortilla (this comes directly from the River Cottage Bread Book)

Makes 8

250g plain white flour; plus extra for dusting

5g (bit less than a tspn) salt

150ml water

Mix ingredients in a bowl to make a sticky dough. Knead for a few minutes until smooth and no longer sticky (takes much less kneading than bread). Cover and leave to rest for about half an hour (this relaxes the gluten and makes it easier to roll out).

Divide the dough into 8 balls. Lightly flour the surface and roll out thinly – about 2-3mm thick. Place a large frying pan on a medium heat and when pan is hot lay first tortilla. Turn after about 30 seconds (you can check to see if the trademark brown patches have appeared), the other side will take slightly less time. Wrap in a tea towel and cook the remaining tortillas in this fashion.

Salsa

Chop up all of the ingredients as you like, we chop it quite finely especially the chilli, the following in more or less equal quantities (but half of that in spring onions and even less fresh chilli):

Tomatoes

Cucumber

Green pepper

Spring onions

Chilli

Coriander

Add the Juice of 1 lime

Refried Beans

3 rashers streaky bacon

½ onion, chopped

½ green pepper, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tin of kidney beans, drained and washed

4 or 5 dried chillies

½ tspn smoked paprika

½ tspn cayenne pepper

Seasoning

Water

Fry the bacon in small amount of olive oil in a saucepan until crispy. Set aside. Add dash more oil, and add the onion, pepper and garlic and fry for five minutes. Add the kidney beans and all other ingredients. Cover with water and bring to boil then simmer for at least half an hour – it normally takes as long as the chicken. Mash with potato masher, check seasoning. The consistency should be gloupy but not too runny.

Spiced Chicken

2 chicken breasts (skin on)

1 heaped tspn coriander seeds

1 heaped tspn cumin seeds

Pinch of crushed dried chilli

2 or 3 small, quartered onions or shallots

5 or 6 whole garlic cloves

Seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 180c. In a dry pan, heat the seeds until fragrant. Then grind with salt and pepper with pestle in mortar. Pat chicken breasts dry and apply the dry rub. Heat some olive oil in a pan (that ideally can also be transferred to the oven) and brown the breasts. Add the onion and garlic, season some more and then place in oven and cook for just shy of half an hour. We then chop the chicken and super-heat a small cast iron serving dish so the chicken stays warm whilst we gorge ourselves.

To Serve:

Grated cheese (we just use a mature cheddar)

Soured Cream

Apologies for instructing how to lay out the ‘fajitas’, but felt obliged in case no-one has done this before. So, what we do is spoon some soured cream along the centre of a tortilla, then place pieces of chicken, onion and garlic on top, sprinkle over some cheese and then run some salsa down. Then curl up tightly and roll. Alternatively, fold an end and then roll, creating some kind of cigarillo that inevitably explodes, if, like us you just can’t help but overfill your tortilla. Be prepared for sticky fingers. Mmm.

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