Fire Roasted Salsa Chicken and Fritos

Fire Roasted Salsa Chicken with Fritos
Every couple months, I stop by Restaurant Depot which is like a Costco for restaurant owners.  It is a huge warehouse of a place where shoppers push around rolling lumber carts instead of shopping carts because the 10 pound slabs of meat, 15 heads of lettuce, and countless 6 pound cans of crushed tomatoes would never fit in a regular cart.  I usually  pick up to-go type packaging for the meals I prepare for my EAT! clients along with a few other things that I really don't need, but are fun to buy.  Recent purchases have included 200 mini paper umbrellas like the ones put in tropical drinks, 50 bakery boxes so I can hand out my baked goods in style, a dozen individual cereal cups similar to the those in cafeterias, and 48 slider rolls just in case I am in the mood to make 48 sliders.

On my latest trip to this restaurant supply store mecca, my impulse purchase was the 50-count package of snack sized chips.  The box was loaded with Lay's Potato Chips, Sun Chips, Cheetos, Doritos, and Fritos.  After sending numerous bags to school in lunches, having a late night snack of Cheetos with a glass of red wine, and moving the huge box around my house as it is too large to store in my pantry, I decided it was time to use up those chips in a new recipe.  And with that, Fire Roasted Salsa Chicken with Fritos was created.

I had seen recipes for "Walking Tacos" where small bags of Fritos are crushed and filled with seasoned ground beef and topped with sour cream, shredded cheese and chopped tomatoes.  These portable treats are popular at many football concession stands and tailgates.  Always looking to change traditional recipes up just a bit, I tweaked the recipe and subbed grilled chicken in the recipe and served it for dinner on a busy night at our house.

I am happy to report that the meal was a success.  No Thank You Boy took one look at my latest dinner creation and proclaimed that it looked like something from a food truck.

"Very clever," he said.

As he has been a frequent watcher of The Great Food Truck Race on The Food Network, I took that as a compliment.  And he proceeded to eat Fire Roasted Salsa Chicken with Fritos 3 nights in a row and was disappointed when it was all gone when he requested for a fourth night.  He was especially fond of the easy clean up involved on his part.

Fire Roasted Salsa Chicken with Fritos is a fun dinner or would be great to serve at your next football viewing filled afternoon.  With the chicken and toppings prepared in advance, a quick reheat is all that is needed to assemble this Mexican inspired meal.

Fire Roasted Salsa Chicken with Fritos

Serves 8

2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil
1 lime, cut in half
4 chicken breasts sliced lengthwise into thin cutlets

1 1/2 cups chopped onions
4 cloves of chopped garlic
2 cans Hunt's fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 cup corn

for serving -
8 snack sized bags of Fritos Corn Chips
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat grill pan to medium high heat.  In a small bowl, combine the the 2 teaspoons each of cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder along with the salt.  Rub chicken with olive oil, squeeze lime juice over it and then rub with the spice mixture.  Grill the chicken for about 3 - 4 minutes per side or until just cooked through.  Remove from grill and shred into bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onions and garlic.  Saute for 8 - 10 minutes or until the onions are softened and beginning to lightly brown.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, and hot sauce.  Stir to combine and continue cooking for 4 - 5 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened.  Stir in the shredded chicken and corn and heat through.

To serve, cut each snack sized Frito bag open like a book.  Top chips with a generous amount of the salsa chicken, a dollop of sour cream, and some of the shredded cheese.  Sprinkle with cilantro.  Dig in!

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