Pollo Fundido with Jalapeno Cream Sauce
Cinco de Mayo is less than 2 weeks away so I have Mexican food on my mind. Of course, this is nothing new! I always have Mexican food on my mind. When I was in high school, there was a Mexican food restaurant called Garcia’s across the street from my church, and quite often after church on Sundays, or after an event during the week, we would go there to get something to eat. I don’t remember anything else they served except something called Pollo Fundido. It was so delicious, I still think about it. It is a fried burrito, stuffed with a flavorful shredded chicken mixture, and covered in a jalapeno cream sauce, then topped with melted cheddar cheese. Oh my! Just talking about it brings back wonderful memories.
I decided it was time to try to make it. It turns out, I’m not the only one who loves this dish, as there are many versions out there. This recipe is the closest to what I remember. The best part of Pollo Fundido is the sauce. It is full of jalapenos, garlic, cream cheese, and sour cream. It’s the stuff of my dreams!
I’m trying to think of other things I can put it on so I can eat it more often. I honestly think if you poured it over rocks, I would be tempted to eat them. And then you melt cheese on top of it. There just are not words….
This recipe is not difficult, but there are a few steps, so I thought I’d share a few tips with you to make it easier. I find it so much simpler if I cook the chicken ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze until needed. Then the day you serve it, it is mostly assembling things. Use tortillas the size of a dinner plate. Be sure to heat the tortillas in the microwave one at a time for 15 seconds before folding to soften them so they won’t tear. Once you have made the sauce and assembled the chicken mixture, place a half cup of the chicken in the middle of your tortilla.
It may not look like a lot, but don’t overload it as you need to be able to get the toothpick through the tortilla, and you don’t want any filling falling out while frying. These things are very rich so it works out perfectly. Next, fold the top and bottom of the tortilla over the filling.
Then fold the sides over towards each other, and secure with a toothpick.
Once it is secure, you are going to fry each meat filled pocket. I used a medium-sized saucepan, and it was just the right size. Watch them carefully as they brown up almost instantly.
You can also bake them if you don’t want the mess or calories of frying. I tried both, and with the sauce, you really can’t tell much of a difference when eating them. There is a bit of a different texture, but the taste is basically the same. Brushing the tortilla with a tiny bit of oil will help them to brown better, but it isn’t necessary. I didn’t brush this one with oil, and this is what it looked like.
Just don’t forget to take the toothpicks out afterwards no matter how you cook them. Toothpicks in your cheek is not a fun way to spend Cinco de Mayo! Next, place the cooked burritos on a baking sheet and cover with sauce and a handful of grated cheddar cheese. Only bake for a couple of minutes until the cheese just starts melting. If you overbake them the sauce becomes runny and falls off the burritos. They still taste good, but you don’t get as much sauce that way! And that would be very sad.
Place the Pollo Fundido burritos on a plate and serve immediately!
Your family and friends will then nominate you for president! You will be able to make Pollo Fundido burritos for everyone, and there would be no more division in the country. Everyone would get along….
I guess I got a little carried away. I did say that sauce was the stuff of my dreams. But your family and friends would be REALLY happy if you made these for them! In fact, they are so good, I’m going to take them to Fiesta Friday to celebrate the beginning of the weekend. Angie of Novice Gardener, Effie of Food Daydreaming, and Jhuls of The Not So Creative Cook are already there waiting for us. Happy Friday, everyone!
For the Burritos:
- 2 c cooked, diced chicken (bake 4-6 chicken breasts for 1 hour at 350 degrees or in crock pot on low for 8 hours)
- 3/4 cup green or red bell pepper, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 c shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- 5 dinner plate size flour tortillas
- canola oil for frying
For the Sauce:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 c sour cream
- 1 c half-and-half
- 2 ounces (1/2 of a 4 oz. can) canned, diced jalapenos (I don’t recommend fresh in this recipe)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top of sauce
- sliced fresh jalapenos (optional for garnish)
- Saute diced bell pepper and onions in 2 Tbsp. oil until tender.
- While bell pepper and onions are cooking, make sauce by placing cream cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, half-and-half, and garlic cloves together in a blender. Blend on high-speed until smooth.
- When bell pepper and onions are done, add in the diced chicken, and heat just until chicken is warm. Turn off stove. Stir 1/2 cup of the jalapeno cream sauce and the shredded jack cheese into the chicken mixture. Set aside.
- Heat enough oil to submerge a burrito in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When a small piece of tortilla dropped into the oil sizzles and bubbles, your oil is ready.
- While oil is heating, place 1 tortilla in microwave and heat for 15 seconds to soften. Place tortilla on a plate, and spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture into the center. Fold top and bottom of tortilla over chicken mixture, then fold both sides towards each other so that it makes a square, and secure with a toothpick. Do the same with the 4 other tortillas. Be sure not to overfill them as it will be difficult to fasten the sides together and filling may fall out while frying.
- Very carefully using tongs, place one burrito at a time in oil, and fry until brown on both sides, turning once. They fry up quickly so don’t leave them unattended. If they are getting too brown or frying up too quickly, turn down to medium-low. When browned, place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with all the rest of the burritos. Important: Take out toothpicks when cool enough to handle.
- You can also bake the burritos on a greased cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 12 to 20 minutes, turning once halfway (mine took 20). They brown better if brushed with oil, but it isn’t necessary.
- When burritos are cooked, place on a greased cookie sheet. Pour about a 1/4 cup sauce over each burrito, and sprinkle about a 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese on top of sauce.
- Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 2 minutes 30 seconds until cheese is just melted, watching the whole time to make sure not to overbake. Overbaking will cause sauce and cheese to become runny and fall off of burritos.
- Place on platter, and garnish with jalapeno slices if desired. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, adapted from a recipe on Food.com