In Mexico, burritos are a popular street food, eaten on the hoof. The secret of a successful burrito is to have all the filling neatly packaged inside the tortilla for easy eating, so these snacks are seldom served with a pour-over sauce.

  • 90 g / 3½ oz / ½ cup long grain rice
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2.5 ml / ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
  • 200 g / 7 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast portions
  • 150 g / 5 oz / 1¼ grated Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar cheese
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp sour cream (optional)
  • 8x20-25 cm / 8-10 in fresh wheat flour tortillas
  • salt
  • fresh oregano, to garnish (optional)
For an extra touch of spice, you can add 3-4 canned or bottled jalapeņo chillies to the filling with the chicken, and substitute fresh coriander (cilantro) for the oregano. Rinse, seed, and finely chopped the chillies first.
If you use very fresh tortillas, you may be able to dispense with the cocktail stocks. Secure the tortilla parcels by damping the final fold with a little water. When you lay the burritos in the dish, place them with the folded surfaces down.
  1. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the rice, bring back to the boil, and cook for 8 minutes. Drain, rinse, and then drain again.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion with the ground cloves and oregano, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the rice and tomatoes, with their can juice, and cook over a low heat until all the tomato juice has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. Put the chicken portions in a large pan, pour in enough water to cover, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Lift the chicken out of the pan, put on a plate, and leave to cool slightly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 160°C / 325°F / Gas 3. Shred the chicken by pulling the flesh apart with two forks, then add the chicken to the rice mixture, with the grated cheese. Gently stir in the sour cream, if using.
  5. Wrap the tortillas in foil and place them on a plate. Stand the plate over boiling water for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, wrap in microwave-safe film and heat in a microwave on full power for 1 minute.
  6. Spoon one-eighth of the filling into the centre of a tortilla and fold in both sides. Fold the bottom up and the top down to form a parcel. Secure with a cocktail stick (toothpick).
  7. Put the filled burrito in a shallow dish or casserole, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven while you make seven more. Remove the cocktail sticks before serving, sprinkled with fresh oregano.