Monday, 10 April 2017

#readcookeat recipe : Chicken Frito Pie (Gone Girl)

When I came across a mention of Chicken Frito Pie in Gone Girl (click through to read my review), I was intrigued. I actually thought it was a made-up recipe because it sounded totally ungastronomical - something along the lines of deep-fried Mars Bars or crisp sandwiches, which (probably) came into existence when people who can't cook or can't be bothered to cook decide to experiment with whatever they have in their cupboards ! That would fit in quite well with the vacuous and slightly predatory neighbour who tries to win Nick's affections with a home-cooked meal when his wife goes missing.

p107 “Oh, you poor man. Well, cold cuts, that won’t do it…I make a mean chicken Frito pie. You know what? I am going to put that together and drop it by the volunteer center tomorrow. You can just microwave it whenever you want a nice warm dinner.”

Frito Pie.jpg
By Solsticed - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Well, I was shocked to discover that there are actually a multitude of genuine recipes out there (thanks google !) and that the dish first came into existence way back in the 1950's. According to Wikipedia : "Frito pie is a simple dish: at its most basic, it is just a pile of Fritos with beef chili poured on top. It is often served right inside the chip bag, which is split down the middle; toppings typically include shredded cheese and chopped raw onion, and may also include additional items like sour cream and jalapenos."

The dish is popular in the South, Midwest and South West of the USA and other names for variations on the dish include pepper bellies, walking tacos, Frito boats and tacos in a bag. There is also a similar dish in Mexico called Tostiloco or Doriloco, if made with Doritos.

That was the answer to my next question - I couldn't hold of Fritos so I looked for an alternative "corn chip". Doritos fit the bill perfectly.

Chicken Frito Pie

ingredients :

drizzle of olive oil
1 onion
4 chicken breasts
1 green pepper
2tbsp ranch dressing (optional)
2tbsp taco/fajita seasoning (or cumin/paprika, etc)
salt, pepper
tin of tomatoes (chopped or fillets)
1tbsp tomato concentrate (optional)
tin of red kidney beans
tin of sweetcorn
bag of Fritos or Doritos
grated cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, for about 8-10 minutes until it is cooked through.

Add the green pepper.

Add herbs and spices of your choosing - anything with a Tex-Mex vibe will be perfect. I found some half-used sachets of ranch dressing and fajita seasoning so I used those.

Season with salt and pepper (you may not need to add any if it's already included in the seasoning blend).

Pour in a tin of tomatoes.

Add some red kidney beans.

Then throw in some sweetcorn. Give it all a good mix and add extra tinned tomatoes, or a little water and some tomato concentrate. You don't want it to be too runny or the corn chips will go soggy.

Transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Add a layer of fritos or doritos or whatever corn chips you can get hold of.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.

I popped mine under the grill for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese, but it did singe some of the Doritos. It might work better being zapped in the microwave, but I was worried this would make the Doritos go soggy, so you can experiment and let me know what works best !

It's not haute cuisine but the kids loved the idea of having Doritos on their dinner ! It's not actually that unhealthy either because it is packed with veggies that they wolfed down without noticing !

Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it used up some half-used seasoning sachets.

Adding to the #readcookeat linky at Chez Maximka.


  1. I have never heard of Chicken Frito pie. Eddie loves Doritos, I imagine he'd love a meal with them. That's a great suggestion (and we won't worry about it not being haute cuiisine, lol)

    1. They burn really quickly though if you put them under the grill so might be better to melt the cheese and then scatter over the Doritos? Either way, I'm sure Eddie would approve !!

  2. this sounds yummy!


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