Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 295: Baked Chicken Chimichangas

I wanted to try something I'd never done before for dinner last night.  I found this recipe while I was browsing on the Food Network site.  This is supposedly a knock off recipe of the chimis they served at a Mexican restaurant called Chi Chi's.  This was one of my family's favorite restaurants when I was a kid.  We were so sad when they shut down.  That was easily 20 years ago, and I'm still finding copycat recipes today.  Talk about staying power.  The thing that attracted me to this recipe is that they are baked instead of fried.  I'm all for shaving off a few calories, heaven knows I need it after all the dutch oven food this year!  I will give you a tip that will make these easier.  Use the largest, thinnest tortillas you can find.  Next time, I'll use the uncooked tortillas from Costco.  They are thin and since they have to be cooked they are nice and warm and easy to work with.

Baked Chicken Chimichangas
12" dutch oven

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
sea or kosher salt
1 small tomato, chopped, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
1 (15-ounce) can re fried beans
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese, plus more for topping
Mexi-sauce, for topping (recipe below)
Shredded lettuce, for topping
Mexican rice, for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a dutch oven over a full spread of coals and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno, cook over until soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt; toast 30 seconds. Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through. Remove from the pot and set aside.

On each tortilla, spread 2 tablespoons re fried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold in the ends and roll up.

Put the chimichangas seam-side down in the dutch oven.  Melt 2 Tbs. of butter and 2 Tbs. oil together and brush over the top of each chimi.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip them over. Top with the Mexi-sauce, more cheese, lettuce and tomato. Serve with rice and the remaining beans.

Chi-Chi's Mexi-sauce:

1/2 cup onion, chopped2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of each: chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt
2 (4 ounce) cans green chiles, drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken broth

Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a 10" dutch oven over a full spread of coals in a tablespoon or two of vegetable/olive oil. Add a pinch each of chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt; cook 30 seconds. Stir in two 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer until thickened, then puree. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.   Serve over chimichangas.

The Finished Product

The Review

My entire family loved these.  I was surprised by how easy they were.  I made the chicken and the Mexi-sauce earlier in the day to avoid the rain and then put them together later.  The tortillas I used were pretty thick so they didn't crisp up as much as I would have liked, but they were still delicious.  Be sure to use thin tortillas.  These are going into our regular meal rotation.  Grade A.


  1. These look good! I'll have to try them-- we made green tomato salsa pureed really fine. The unripened tomatoes paired with the jalapenos make for a great tart kick. Just follow a salsa recipe like this one:

    And substitute green tomatoes. Eliminates all waste from your tomato garden. We do it every year, and I love it!

  2. I loved Chi Chi's. Their fried ice cream was awesome.

    This looks like an awesome recipe!

  3. My son Aaron was 10 when they were in S.L.C. hes now 32. he liked the hot dog in a tortilla. My wife and I loved it all.
    Baca de Bepos is good too. but we missed Chi, Chi's.

  4. Looks good, not sure about the canned green chillies being in our stores but the rest of the ingredients I can get. :)

  5. Green chili enchilada sauce would work in a pinch!


print friendly

Related Posts with Thumbnails