Spring is in the air, and it has prompted some lighter, fresher cooking in our kitchen. The family was all together for dinner one Saturday night, prompting me to try something not only a little out of the ordinary, but also requiring a little more creativity than usual, so the children and I decided to make Spicy Chicken Tortillas.
We all know that ‘many hands make light work’ is a fallacy when those hands belong to children and they are trying to ‘help’ you do something! But it does give them ownership of the meal, and if you are lucky it may prompt them to try something that perhaps they would not previously have touched with a bargepole! On a good day, my children are now pretty proficient in the kitchen – in fact my 4-year-old made her first salad on Sunday night under the watchful eye of her 7-year-old brother who decided on a vegetable by vegetable basis what she was allowed to wield a knife to. In truth she took the instructions from him as well, if not better, than she would have from me, and of course ate more of the salad than she would have if I had made it!
Given they were all keen to help, we decided to make the tortillas ourselves. I have made them once before and used plain white bread flour, but this time I used half white and half wholemeal flour. The all white tortillas ‘puffed up’ more and had a lighter texture than the wholemeal, which is something to keep in mind when you are making yours! If you are time-poor, Marks and Spencer (and no doubt numerous other places in HK) sells ready to heat and eat wraps. I served the spicy chicken with baby spinach leaves, slices of tomato and a cucumber raita. Your call on the accompaniments! Slivers of capsicum, shredded cabbage or lettuce, thin slices of snow peas or cubes of baked pumpkin or sweet potato could be wrapped up to make a tasty dinner. And of course, the chicken could be substituted for prawns, fish or beef strips. If you don’t think the cucumber raita will be appreciated then sour cream would also make a tasty option spread on your tortilla before being filled and folded.
- 4 chicken thigh fillets
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- ½ cup of diced cucumber, seeds removed
- ½ cup of plain yoghurt
- ½ teaspoon of garlic salt
- Vegetables to accompany – e.g. sliced tomato, spinach leaves
- 4 cups of plain bread flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
- 2 ½ cups of boiling water
- Trim the excess fat from the chicken and combine it with the spices, oil and garlic and in a bowl, allowing to marinate while you make the tortillas
- Mix the cucumber, yoghurt and garlic salt together and refrigerate.
- Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well. Tip in the oil and slowly add the boiling water using a knife to combine until the mixture forms a dough.
- Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured board, and knead it until the dough is smooth. Cut the dough into 18 pieces.
- Get your kids rolling the pieces until you have tortillas of approximately 20cm diameter – you will need to make sure that the bench top and rolling pin are generously covered in flour to stop the dough from sticking.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan and cook the tortillas for a couple of mins on each side until they are lightly browned. Place on a plate and keep warm until you are ready to use them.
- Heat a griddle pan or fry pan and cook the chicken until cooked through, about 4 mins on each side depending on the thickness of the piece.
- Slice the chicken when cooked.
To serve, I put everything on the table and they help themselves, but if yours are not at that stage then you can do the wrapping. Mine do love a ‘buffet style’ meal, it reminds them of holidays to exotic destinations!
Clean plate rating
A definite success that we will try again – maybe with fish. I can’t wait to hear what you tried!
Originally from Australia, Chanelle Jackson was a Critical Care Nurse living in Sydney when she met and married her husband. Now a mum to three kids aged 4, 5 and 7, she has a home full of willing guinea pigs ready to try out her family-friendly recipes! Although cooking was always a hobby, Chanelle noticed spaghetti Bolognese was creeping onto the menu a little too regularly for comfort. Taking a stand against dull dinners, Chanelle was motivated to create and road-test exciting, yummy meals that the whole family can enjoy, and she’s sharing them with Sassy Mama! Check out her ‘clean plate rating’ for guaranteed dinner winners, and she’d love to hear your recipe feedback and suggestions!