After this recipe, y’all are going to think that I only cook Mexican food (actually Tex-Mex) and sweets! Tex-Mex IS my favorite type of food and since there is so much variety within that category, we usually have Tex-Mex once a week. This recipe is a recreation of the famous chimichangas from the Tex-Mex chain Chi-Chi’s, which closed the last of its 65 restaurants in 2004. Did you ever visit Chi-Chi’s? Did you ever try their chimichangas? I didn’t (and I’m not even sure if there was one in Houston), but I wanted to try this recipe all the same.
There are several things about this recipe that make it a star. The cooking technique for the chimichangas (baked, brushed with oil and butter) keep them from being too greasy like a typically fried chimichanga, and get the flour tortilla nice and crispy. The filling has amazing flavor with hints of fire-roasted tomatoes (okay, that was my own substitution), fresh cilantro, and a hint of cinnamon. And last but not least is that delicious Mexi-sauce on top which is creamy and zesty and just perfect with the chimichangas. I used a store-bought rotisserie this week because I was feeling lazy, but Crockpot Mexican Chicken would be just perfect for this!
One other note about the tortillas and filling instructions. I used made-fresh-at-the-store tortillas instead of making my own, and since my tortillas were smaller than 10″, I had to cut back my filling drastically (which I learned the hard way). So keep that in mind.
adapted from from Food Network Magazine, October 2010
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 15-oz can refried beans
- 4 10-inch flour tortillas
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, plus more for topping
- Mexi-sauce, for topping (see recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Melt the butter with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet; transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. 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 heat.
Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture. Spread 2 tablespoons refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold in the ends and roll up.
Put the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush with the butter-oil mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip. Top with the sauce and more cheese. Serve with remaining beans and Mexican Rice.
Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a skillet with vegetable oil. Add a pinch each of chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt; cook 30 seconds. Stir in two 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles, cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer until thickened, then puree. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.