If there is one thing I know how to make, it’s a perfectly fried chimichanga. Chicken chimichangas may be super hard to make look “pretty” but they taste amazing!
Cooking Classy… Chimichangas
Super classy I know :). I’ve said this before but really I don’t eat very “classy”. When I was trying to think of a food related blog name (back when I started this blog) it seemed like all the good ones were taken so Cooking Classy was the best I could come up with.
I know chimichangas aren’t exactly classy and they are super hard to make look pretty, but these chicken chimichangas taste amazing! And if there is one thing I know how to make, it’s a perfectly fried homemade chimichanga.
Growing up I lived on the bean and cheese chimichangas (honestly I don’t know if that would even be considered a chimichanga or just a fried bean and cheese burrito, but either way I’m hooked on those). My mom would make homemade chimichangas a lot because they were so quick and easy.
Chicken Chimichangas Baked or Fried
With these chimichangas I decided to use chicken but they’d also be really good with shredded beef. If you wanted to make them a little bit healthier you could brush the chimichangas with a little bit of butter or oil and bake them in the oven (at 400 for 10 – 12 minutes on each side until golden brown) and cut back a little on the cheese.
Most of the time I use half extra virgin olive oil and half vegetable oil to fry chimichangas (just be careful the oil doesn’t get too hot and use a lower temp), so that’s another slightly healthier option. Enjoy!
Yield: 6 chimichangas
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts , cooked and shredded (3 1/2 cups)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 3 Tbsp salsa (optional)
- 2 Tbsp sour cream , plus more for topping
- 1 1/2 cups refried beans , homemade or store bought*
- 6 burrito size flour tortillas
- Vegetable oil , for frying
- 5 oz . shredded Mexican cheese blend (1 1/4 cups)**
- Guacamole , for serving
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add onion and saute until slightly golden and tender, about 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last 30 seconds of sauteing. Add in tomato sauce, water, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, salsa, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to a bubble, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently until sauce has thickened and reduced by about half and onions are tender. Stir in sour cream and toss in chicken.
Spread 1/4 cup refried beans onto the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on the edge of tortilla. Layer with each with 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture and top with 3 Tbsp shredded cheese. Fold the 2-inch ends up and then fold one side over the top and roll.
Fill a pot with 1/2-inch vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot (about 350 degrees on a deep fry thermometer), add filled tortillas (you should be able to fit 2 or 3 at a time so work in batches) and fry until golden brown on bottom then using metal tongs, carefully rotate to opposite side and cook until golden brown on opposite side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Serve warm topped with guacamole, diced tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, salsa or hot sauce.
*If using canned, I'd highly recommend stirring in a few tablespoons of water to thin them out. I used homemade but canned works fine too.
**I just used half monterey jack and half cheddar but a pre-shredded Mexican blend works fine too.