Chimichangas – Their History and How to Make Them

Chimichangas are deep-fried burritos. They are popular in the Mexican Sonora and Sinaloa regions and they also feature in Tex Mex cooking. To make chimichangas, a flour tortilla is filled with a variety of ingredients and then folded into a rectangular shape and cooked.

Popular fillings for chimichangas include ground beef, carne adobada, beans, cheese, rice, shredded chicken or shredded beef. They can be stuffed with a combination of these ingredients. The chimichangas are then deep-fried and serve hot with cheese, sour cream, guacamole or salsa. You can also make baked chimichangas which are just as good but less fattening.

How Did Chimichangas Originate?

There is some debate over the origin of this Mexican food recipe. Some people believe that the owner of El Charro restaurant in Arizona dropped a pastry into hot oil in 1922 and said “chimichanga” instead of a Spanish curse word which begins with the same letters.

The owner of Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, also in Arizona, claims that he made the first chimichanga, as a way to use up unsold burritos. Yet another version of events claims that immigrants from Mexico introduced this recipe, along with other authentic Mexican food recipes, to the United States via Nogales into Arizona.

Chimichangas are very popular throughout Arizona and Mexico and there are various recipes for this delightful Mexican food recipe that you can make at home. If you are looking for some interesting Mexican recipes to make for your family, this would be a very nice recipe to start off with.

Recipe for Baked Chicken Chimichangas

These chimichangas are baked, rather than deep fried, to keep them healthy. Chicken is combined with chilies, onion, cheese, hot sauce and more for a mouthwatering flavor and you can serve these chicken chimichangas with Mexican rice and your preferred vegetable side dish.

What you will need:

  • 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup picante sauce
  • 1/2 chopped white onion
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Saute the onions in the oil in a skillet, and then add the chilies, picante sauce and chicken. Warm the enchilada sauce in another pan. Heat the tortillas in the microwave until they are soft, and then divide the chicken mixture between them.

Grease a baking sheet using half the oil. Roll the tortillas up to make rectangular packages, sealing the filling inside, and arrange them on the baking sheet. Rub the rest of the oil on top of each one.

Bake them for about 12 minutes or until the chimichangas are golden brown. Spoon the warm enchilada sauce on each serving plate and top with a chimichanga, some grated cheese, cilantro and sour cream. Serve immediately.

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