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Minimal effort, maximum taste: the best packed lunch recipes

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Spicy Chicken Wraps

Spicy Chicken Wraps

Hot or not?! Fiery Mexican chicken wraps for only 77p each.

Jalapeños and chipotle paste make these chicken wraps a spice sensation before the cooling avocado kicks in like an antidote!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, wraps make the ultimate, easy packed lunch. And these spicy chicken wraps are the perfect example. Wrapped in tin foil, they’re compact & easy to transport, and the recipe works really well for meal prep, too — make up one big tub of filling in advance and then it only takes a minute to create your wrap fresh each morning with some lettuce and avocado salad. Simple!

My favourite thing about this recipe is how good value it is. Buying and roasting a whole chicken is a great way to make tasty meals on budget. Most of the meat goes into this packed lunch, but then you can use the chicken drumsticks and wings in another dish. (Normally we end up scoffing them fresh from the oven, with a bit of salad for dinner!) Alternatively, this is the perfect recipe for when you’ve got some leftover chicken to use up. Think Sunday roast and then use any leftovers for your Monday packed lunch! Just open up the recipe card at the bottom of the page to adjust the quanties depending on how much you didn’t smother in gravy and devour with your roasties!

This recipe is inspired by Thomasina Miers’ “Fiery Little Chicken Tostadas” from her cookbook Wahaca – Mexican Food at Home, I’ve just tweaked it into chicken wraps instead because they’re much more packed lunch friendly! My Green Rice Salad recipe comes from that book, too, and is definitely worth making. It’s a great summer salad and a nice dish to bring along to a BBQ.

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time/stick it in the oven & leave it alone time: ~1 hr 20 mins | Servings: 6
Cost? I paid £4.63 for everything

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Full Instructions

Cook the chicken:

1 whole chicken; oil; salt & pepper

  1. Turn the oven on to 180°C
  2. While it’s heating up, put the chicken in a roasting tin, drizzle a little oil all over and season generously with salt & pepper
  3. Turn the chicken upside down (The Hungry Hungry Husband’s top tip for moist and tender meat…!), cover loosely with tin foil, and put in the preheated oven
  4. About 20 mins before it’s done, remove the tin foil and turn the chicken right-side-up to get the skin crispy
    *tip* cooking times will vary depending on the size of your chicken (look at the packaging for instructions), but my 1.25kg bird took about 1 hour 20 minutes
  5. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool down before shredding 350g of meat off (keep the rest, such as the drumsticks & wings, for other meals)
    *alternative* if using chicken breasts, poach them in a pan of salted boiling water with a few slices of raw onion, a few bay leaves, & some peppercorns and simmer very gently for 15 minutes (or until cooked but not overdone), then shred as above

Make the filling:

350g cooked chicken; 30g pickled jalapeños (roughly chopped); large handful of fresh tarragon (roughly chopped); 3 tbsp mayonnaise; 3 tsp chipotle paste; juice of 1 lime; salt & pepper

  1. Mix everything together in a large bowl (Can’t handle the heat? Go easy on the chilli!)
    *alternative* if using a whole dried chipotle chilli, cover it with some boiling water and leave for about 10 mins to rehydrate before very finely chopping and adding to the chicken wrap filling as you would the paste
  2. Try some to check the heat level and add more of anything depending on your own tastes — we normally end up adding more jalapeños because we like it spicy!
  3. Transfer to an air-tight container and leave in the fridge until needed

Make your chicken wrap:

wraps/home-made flatbreads/tortillas; lettuce; avocado (sliced or cubed); juice of ½ lime

  1. Simply add some lettuce to your vessel of choice with a portion of the chicken mixture and top with avocado
  2. Finish off with a squeeze of lime juice
  3. Roll up the wrap and pop it into some foil

Final thoughts from The Hungry Hungry Husband?

“They taste as good as they look — so much better than anything you can get in the shops!”

The Hungry Hungry Husband - the hunt for the perfect packed lunch

spicy chicken wraps meal prep packed lunch
Wraps make such a practical packed lunch – and this recipe is so easy to meal prep in advance

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