If you want to bring the very soul of Mexican cuisine to your dinner table you should definitely try chimichanga which also goes by the names of chimmy chonga or chivichanga.
Chimichanga which means ‘thingamajig’ in Spanish, is actually deep fried burritos. The popularity of chimichangas in the United States is such that it has achieved cult status in regions like Tucson.
Chimichangas are burritos, which have been deep fried to golden perfection and enclose a variety of fillings, including shredded chicken, pork, seafood, beef, cheese, beans, machaca, carne adobaba and cheese. This tortilla based dish is served widely in Mexican, Southwestern, Mom and Pop and Tex Mex restaurants. Chimichangas are typically served on a bed of shredded lettuce, and accompanied by dips like cream cheese, salsa, sour cream or guacamole.
There is a great deal of debate regarding the actual origins of this dish. Some people are of the opinion that this tasty dish was invented by mistake when Monica Flin, the owner of the El Charro restaurant in Tucson, Arizona, dropped some pastry into a deep fat fryer sometime in 1922.
A certain section of people believe that it was the Mexican immigrants who introduced this dish in the United States. Another segment of the population is of the notion that chimichangas were invented by the owner of Macayo’s Mexican restaurant, a popular eatery situated in Arizona.
Preparing Healthy Chimichangas
Instead of preparing the traditional deep fried chimichangas which are high in calories, one can even prepare a baked version of this dish. The baked version not only retains the original flavors of this dish, but is heart healthy as well.
Chicken Breast (Boneless) – 1 lb
Green Chilies Diced Finely -14 oz
Chili Powder – 2tbsp
Garlic Cloves (Minced) – 1
Spanish Onion Diced -1/4 cup
Flour Tortilla (10 inch) – 8
Canola Oil –For Frying
Shredded Monterey Cheese – 1 ½ cups
Margarine – 3tbsp
All Purpose Flour- 2tbsp
Milk – 1 ½ cups
Water – ½ cup
1. Bake chicken breast till it is well done and has a nice golden brown color. Remove chicken breast from oven and shred it finely.
2. In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and lightly sauté the onions and minced garlic, till the onions become soft.
3. Now add chili powder, green chilies, shredded chicken and water to the saucepan and cook over a medium heat for approximately 30 minutes.
4. In a microwave, heat the tortilla shells for about 30 seconds.
5. Remove the heated tortilla shells from the microwave and place 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture in the centre of each tortilla. Fold the sides of the tortillas and hold them in place with the help of toothpicks. Transfer the prepared tortillas to the refrigerator.
6. In another saucepan, melt two tablespoons of butter and add the flour to make a roux. Stir the flour and butter mixture constantly for about four minutes. Now add milk and continue stirring. Finally add the salt and pepper. Cover the saucepan and allow the cheese sauce mixture to continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
7. Pour canola oil into a deep bottomed frying pan. Heat the oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, drop the chimichangas into the oil one by one, flap side down. Deep fry the chimichangas till they attain a nice golden brown color. Remove the chimichangas from the hot oil and place them on absorbent paper towels.
8. Serve the deep fried chimichangas on a plate of shredded lettuce topped with the delicious cheese sauce.