Gorditas (and grilled chicken fillets)

GorditaChickenPlatebfLOSee? It’s not all home made challah and and Say-Something-Jello-Molds chez nous – there are times when our dinner comes out of a box.

I’m just a wee, tiny bit picky about the box.

GorditaKitbfLOIn this case – a cheery yellow box containing mostly stuff I could EASILY toss together, EXCEPT for that one, magic ingredient: the incomparable Zesty Ranch Sauce.

I have attempted to make my own ZRS, even tried buying bottles of so-called ZRS, but haven’t found the secret to equal that tasty little squeeze packet.


Still, with that said (and ZRS in hand), there is no reason the rest of our gordita needs to follow the directions on the box. I like to 08aChickenMalletbfLOpound chicken into fillets and marinate them in buttermilk and stuff, then toss ‘em on the grill:

•Boneless, skinless chicken breast
•2 cups buttermilk
•1/2 cup vegetable oil
•2 cloves garlic, skinned and smashed
•1 tbsp crushed peppercorns
•1 tbsp kosher salt or 1-1/2 tsp table salt
04ChickenMarinadebfLO•1 tsp other seasoning – you could use cumin or chili powder, but I normally use some Gateway to the North Seasoning from The Spice House
•1 tbsp maple syrup
•Fresh herbs of your choice

Wrap each chicken breast loosely in plastic wrap and pound out with the flat side of a meat mallet. Remove from the plastic wrap and place in a large freezer bag and add everything else. Squish it around in the bag and marinate over night (best) in the fridge; or for at least 30 minutes on the countertop. You could also, if you’re feeling ambitious, put it all together and just toss the chicken, marinade and bag in the freezer until needed. Then, the time it takes to thaw the chicken in the fridge will be enough to allow the marinade to work its magic.GrilledChickenbfLO

Pull the fillets from the marinade (discard the marinade, it’s done its bit) and grill for a few minutes on each side until cooked and nicely scored with grill marks. If you use your gas grill and they get a bit, ermmm, singed – not to worry – the marinade has infused the chicken with moisture as well as flavor, all should be well.

Chicken well and truly done, slice the fillets into rough strips and get on with your dinner-from-a-box! I like to sauté onion and assorted red, yellow, orange and green peppers (whatever we have in the house) in some olive oil until cooked and tender, then add the powdered seasoning kit, simmer it all down, and use it as an additional sauce for the grilled chicken and other fresh veggies in the warmed gordita tortillas.

See? Dinner-in-a-box!

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