When I go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, I always get the same thing. Chicken Chimichangas. I do the same thing at my favorite Sushi Restaurant. They know both my name and my order.
I guess I am a creature of habit. Though I would never dream of ordering anything else at a mexican restaurant, surprisingly I have never attempted nor perfected my own version of this restaurant favorite. Not sure why? But, in an attempt to go gluten free and to clean my diet up a bit, I thought making these at home might be a bit more healthy and still satisfy my craving.
This recipe gives me a chance to brag about some new tricks that I have learned. For me, 2016 was the year that I began to put my garlic press to good use. I’ve had a garlic press for as long as I can remember. It was probably a wedding or a bridal shower gift. But I’ve always chosen to stock minced garlic. It always sits on the same shelf of my fridge. With my CSA this year, I starting getting fresh garlic bulbs in the fall. Cooking with fresh garlic is a treat. The smell is much more fragrant and the taste is delicious. I now find myself using fresh garlic in place of jarred minced. I actually wash that ‘ole garlic press on a daily basis. So, if you don’t have a press yourself, run to Johnnies. They have ’em and they’ll hook you up.
Another trick, courtesy of pinterest, is how to properly (and very easily) shred chicken. I have a KitchenAid Mixer. It’s a solid, sturdy, powerful machine. (I can’t promise this trick works on all mixers…..it’s worth a try.) Throw your cooked chicken breast in the mixer and turn it on. In under a minute, you have evenly, shredded chicken.
Now, enough of my showing off, back to the recipe. This homemade version of fried chicken chimichangas was impressive. I love the that they turned out so crispy. (Thanks to my husband for the new deep fryer!) The sauce is pretty spot on. I might add some cheese to the sauce next time, that was the only thing missing.
Fried Chicken Chimichangas.
- 3 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, divided
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
Sour cream sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour (if you wish to make this dish gluten free, use a gluten free flour)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- 8 (8 inch) flour tortillas ( substituted gluten free tortillas)
- 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Place the chicken breasts in a large saucepan. Pour in the water, and season with chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir in 1 can (4 ounces) of green chiles, onion, and garlic; continue simmering until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup. Remove the chicken, shred, and return back to the onion mixture.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the water and bouillon cube until the water has thickened and the bouillon cube has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Whisk in a can (4 ounces) of green chilies and the sour cream; season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place a tortilla onto your work surface, then spoon about 1/2 cup of the chicken filling halfway between the bottom edge and the center of the tortilla. See photos below. Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons of the Monterey Jack cheese over the filling. Fold the bottom and the tops of the tortilla snugly over the filling, then fold in the left and right edges. Roll the chimichanga as tight as possible and secure the ends with wooden toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Cook the chimichangas, 2 at a time, in the hot oil until they are crisp and golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, and don’t forget to remove the toothpicks. Top with sour cream sauce to serve. I also prefer to serve the chimichangas with rice and shredded lettuce.
*I do realize that fried chicken chimichangas could hardly be considered healthy. To further clean up this dish, you could bake in the oven at a high temp for a few minutes. They should still get crispy.