Here's the problem: I have no desire or intention of buying myself a deep fryer. So then I have to ask myself whether I have a pan deep enough to fill with oil and deep fry a bunch of giant-stuffed burritos. The answer is an obvious and resounding no.
But how do you make a chimichanga without deep frying it? The answer turned out to be spectacularly simple: mix melted butter with oil, brush it over the flour tortilla, and bake at a high heat. That gave me a nice crispy tortilla, without skimping on the flavor.
Prior to baking, I stuffed the chimichanga with refried beans, a shredded chicken mix, and cheese. I prepared a green chile sauce and fresh guacamole for the top, and I cooked up a box of Spanish yellow rice to serve as a side. Really, any guacamole recipe will do, but I add fresh squeezed orange juice to mine because I think that's the best way to do it.
The hardest part of the chimichanga will inevitably be the folding--however, if you're using fresh tortillas and don't overstuff them, this will be a snap. If your tortillas are constantly ripping, try wrapping them in a wet paper towel and microwaving them for 30 seconds prior to stuffing.
The folding process is basically the same as a burrito. You want to fold over one side, then fold the top and bottoms up to make an envelope. Finally, you fold over the last side and lay the whole thing seem side down on the pan, which keeps it from popping right back open.
- 1 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, divided
- 1 can chicken stock
- 1 cup salsa
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 small tomato , chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 8 10-inch flour tortillas
- 1 can refried beans
- 3 cups (about) shredded cheddar cheese
- Green Chile Sauce for serving (recipe below)
- In a large dutch oven, combine 1 cup yogurt, chicken stock, and salsa (yes, it will look like vomit). Add chicken breast pieces and cover with lid. Turn heat on medium and cook until chicken is done. It should be about 40 minutes. Chicken will easily shred when cooked through, so if you press on it with a fork and it doesn't split apart, you know it's not done.
- Remove chicken pieces from dutch oven and move to a clean plate. It's okay if some excess sauce stays on the chicken. Shred chicken with two forks and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, heat butter and 2 tablespoons of oil until butter melts. Move to glass bowl and set aside.
- In same large pan, add remaining oil. Saute onion, garlic, and jalapeno on medium heat until soft and cooked through--about five minutes.
- Add chili powder and cumin. Allow spices to cook for about thirty seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add tomato and fresh cilantro. Cook until juice from tomato is mostly gone, which should be about two minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and chicken. Allow mixture to heat through, then remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Take the butter and oil mixture, and brush a small layer onto the bottom of a large, rimmed baking sheet. (A 13x9 cake pan will also work if you don't have a rimmed baking sheet.) You will need to reserve some of this butter-oil mixture for later.
- Now it's time to piece together the chimichanga. Put two small spoonfulls of refried beans down the center of a tortilla. Place a large scoop of the meat mixture on top of the beans. Top with desired amount of cheese (I generally use about 1/4 cheese per chimichanga). Fold the chimichanga by folding in one side first. Then fold the top and bottom up. Finally, fold over the last side, and place the chimichanga seem side down on the pan.
- Repeat chimichanga filling process until you've run out of filling and/or tortillas.
- Once chimichangas line your baking sheet, brush the butter-oil mixture on the chimichangas.
- Bake in the oven for ten minutes. Turn the chimichangas over so that the seem faces up. Bake for another 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve with green chile sauce and guacamole.
Green Chile Sauce Recipe
- 1 small yellow onion , diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 4-ounce cans green chilies
- 1 small can tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Fresh cilantro
- Saute onion and garlic cloves in oil on medium heat until browned.
- Add chili powder, sugar, salt, cumin, and smoked paprika. Simmer for thirty seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add green chilies, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Bring sauce to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for twenty minutes.
- Add fresh cilantro, and serve.