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Taco Tuesday: Chicken Chimichangas

It's chicken Chimichangas, Zirbirt Style.. Not sure what else to say, but they were delicious!

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Taco Tuesday: Chicken Chimichangas

by zirbirt

Don't tell anyone, but I don't actually know how to make chimichangas. Most the meals I make do not come from a recipe. They usually come from me looking for a certain flavor and texture combination. I tend to throw in things that I think will help me achieve that goal, and cook in ways I think will compliment it. So, before you raise your pitchforks because I didn't do chimichangas the "right" way, be aware I only call these chimichangas because that is what I used as a model for them.

We have a pretty good Mexican eatery around here. I love Mexican food and I really love chimichangas. You would think I would have learned to make them before, but really, when the Mexican restaurant does such a good job at it, why bother? Well, I finally decided to bother. I could have looked up recipes and tried to find one that matched what I wanted, but instead, I chose to consider what works and what doesn't work in the chimichangas I have had in the past.

One minor problem with chimichangas, for me, is the filling is usually bland. Most the flavor comes from the cheese on top, or from whatever else I put on there. I want my chimis to be good by themselves. I do like the shredded nature of the chicken, and the relative dryness of the filling, but I think I don't want it too dry. I would like to enjoy what feels like nice moist chicken, but not wet chicken, if that makes sense.

So, with that in mind, my direction was clear. It's time for the crock pot.

I started by putting 4 chicken breasts into the crock pot.

I then added one onion, cubed, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of Green Chilis, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of cumin, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Then, I just poured in water till the chicken was fully covered.

I just set that on high for 4-6 hours (or 8-10 on low).. and come back to it later.

I check the chicken by poking it with a fork, if it pulls apart easily, it is ready.

I put a metal strainer over a medium bowl and just pour everything into it.

The chicken, I put in a 9X13 pan, and shred (using my fancy meat claws).

For me, this is 6 chimichangas, but I like BIG chimichangas.

I take a large tortilla, and place a good helping of the chicken mixture right in the middle.

I then add some cheese.

then I fold over the two sides.. and I kinda crease them a little bit.

Starting from the bottom, I roll it, being careful to keeps the sides properly folded.

I do this for all 6 chimichangas, or until the meat is all used up.

Now I take a pan that will easily accommodate 1 chimichanga, and add in enough oil to cover about 1/2 of it. I heat that to 350 degrees. It is very important that you get it as close to 350 as possible. At that temp, you will achieve proper browning, but also steam will escape the chimi enough to prevent oil from getting into it. Cooler and you risk a soggy mess, hotter and you risk an ugly brown. At 350, you get a nice crisp delicious not greasy meal.

I place the chimi in so the fold is down.

Then after a few minutes I flip it over

Once done, I like to use a baking sheet, lined with paper towels and a baking rack (turned upside down). This help not only let the oil drip off, but actually wicks it off.

So, while I'm doing all that, I also work on my sauce. That liquid I removed from the chicken is way too flavorful to just throw out.

So I am going to use it... well 2 cups of it at least... but first...

I take 1/4 cup of butter and heat it over medium heat in a medium pan.

Once the butter is fully melted, I add in 1/4 cup of flour and let it boil a bit.

I then add in my 2 cups of liquid along with some hot sauce, cayenne pepper and a touch of salt.

I bring that to a boil then toss in about 1 cup of cheese and about 8 ounces of sour cream.

I continue whisking over medium low heat until it is smooth and creamy.

The Inside-out nachos are really just quesadillas using corn tortillas (grilled on both sides), and adding a little bit of spice to them. Then I cut them into 8 equal pieces:

I add some of the inside-out nachos, a couple of chimis and some sauce to the plate and I am done.

Sadly, this will be the last Taco Tuesday, it seems. My wife kindly requested earlier this week that I end taco Tuesday and replace it with another concept. The exact quote is something like, "I like Mexican, once in a while.. not every week" So starting next week, taco Tuesday will be take-out Tuesday, where I attempt to create foods based on normal take-out. Don't tell her, but I consider Mexican food take out (thanks to taco bell).

Thanks for reading!

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