CHICKEN, WHITE BEANS AND LEEK-FETA-SOUR CREAM SALSA WITH TORTILLAS

        Another symphonically textured burrito — or you can as I like to do keep the chicken/beans/salsa outside the tortilla, treating the latter like bread to be used for mopping up operations. Burritos, of course, are the envelope of the hour, especially in California where one finds them cradling goat stew, tongue, Mu Shi pork, name your stuffing. In this era of the Great Take Out they’ve become the ultimate if somewhat oozy meal for people with an appetite, good taste, two hands and scant time for committing knives and forks to a dishpan.

 

Place almost 1 cup of cannellini or Great Northern beans in a saucepan with water to cover, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, remove from the heat and set aside to soak for an hour, then drain.

Now you can brown your chicken pieces in a large skillet without added fat — and be sure to drain the unwanted fat that accumulates during browning. Then add the beans to the chicken along with 2/3 cup of dry vermouth and 2 cups of chicken broth with a tablespoon of tomato paste dissolved therein, plus 1 or 2 pressed garlic cloves and a little thyme and pepper; simmer all for an hour partly covered.

Now reserve the chicken while you continue cooking the beans-in-sauce until they’re done — that’s about another 45 minutes — stirring occasionally and adding water (vermouth, too) as needed to prevent your sauce reducing away. Finally, return the chicken to the pot to warm, then serve your chicken-and-beans with or in steamed tortillas (use cupped plates or large soup bowls) along with the following Salsa:

Chop finely 2 smallish leeks after the essential washing and trimming. Whisk 3/4 cup of sour cream or yogurt until it’s smooth, add 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and whisk again; now blend in 1/3 cup of crumbled feta cheese, resorting to a potato masher, the ultimate show of force, if necessary. Combine the leeks and feta/cream, adding dill weed, a pressed garlic clove and chili powder to taste: I’d say quite a bit, perhaps 2 teaspoons

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