Chimichangas are a beloved dish that have captured the hearts (and stomachs) of many food enthusiasts around the world. Whether you prefer them crispy or soft, spicy or mild, there’s no denying the mouthwatering appeal of a piping hot chimichanga.

What is a chimichanga?

A chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito that is popular in Tex-Mex cuisine. It typically consists of a tortilla filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, beans, rice, cheese, and vegetables, and then deep-fried until crispy. The filling can vary depending on personal preference, but popular options include shredded beef or chicken, refried beans, and cheese. Chimichangas are often served with a variety of condiments, such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or cheese sauce. They are a popular dish in many Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants, and are enjoyed by many people as a delicious and filling meal.

Who invented the Chimichanga?

There are a few different versions of the tale. One popular story goes that they were created by accident in the 1940s when a cook in Arizona accidentally dropped a burrito in the deep fryer. He quickly exclaimed “chimichanga”, which is roughly translated as “thingamajig”, to avoid using profanity. To his surprise, the crispy and delicious result became an instant hit with the customers.

What is the difference between a burrito and a chimichanga?

The main difference between a burrito and a chimichanga is the way they are prepared. Both dishes are made with a flour tortilla that is filled with various ingredients, but a burrito is typically served soft, while a chimichanga is deep-fried until crispy.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (or beef)

  • 1 cup cooked rice

  • 1 cup cooked black beans

  • 1 cup shredded cheese

  • 1/2 cup salsa

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Instructions

Step 1:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C)

Step 2:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and shredded chicken, cooked rice, cooked black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, ground cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well

Step 3:

  • Lay the flour tortillas flat on a clean surface, and spoon a generous amount of the chicken mixture onto the center of each tortilla

Step 4:

  • Fold the sides of each tortilla inward, and then roll up the tortillas tightly to create a burrito shape

Step 5:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Carefully place the chimichangas into the hot oil, seam side down, and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per side

Step 6:

  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the chimichangas from the hot oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil

Step 7:

  • Transfer the chimichangas to a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until heated through and crispy

Step 8:

  • Serve the chimichangas hot, topped with additional salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or any other toppings you like

Substitutions

To make a vegan version of chimichangas, you can use cooked and shredded vegan chicken substitute (such as jackfruit or seitan) instead of regular chicken, and vegan shredded cheese. Follow the same recipe as above, but use these vegan ingredients and serve the chimichangas with vegan toppings such as salsa and sour cream.

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