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Video:How to Make Chimichangas

with John Mitzewich

An American Southwest specialty, chimichangas are deep-fried meat and cheese filled burritos. This home version is easy, delicious, and since it doesn't use a deep-fryer, much lower in fat.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Chimichangas

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com, today we're making something from the American Southwest, the delicious chimichanga.

Chimichanga Filling Ingredients

There it is, the chimichanga. If you don't know its basically a deep-fried burrito. Let me show you how to put this together. I have:
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, just chopped up
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp any chunky-style salsa, hot or mild
  • salt to taste
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack

Chimichanga Filling Variations

Now, you could use this filling as is. By the way, anything can be used in these, in fact this is more of the technique of how to make them and you can figure out the fillings yourself. But, to the chicken mixture I'm going to add a 1/4 cup of diced roasted green chilies. I think that makes a really nice filling. Like I said, anything works, but that's what I'm going to put.

Prepare the Chimichanga Tortillas

We're going to take some egg white and a pastry brush, that's going to help us seal the tortilla. Now before we fold these up we're going to put them in a warm sauté pan on low, and that just makes the flour tortilla soft and pliable so it doesn't crack when we try to fold it. So once that's warm on both sides, throw it on your cutting board.

Assemble the Chimichangas

Put 1/4 of the filling in the center. Brush it all the way around with the egg white. Fold in both sides. Bring up the bottom and we're going to make one fold, just like a parcel, and that's it. Very simple. And the egg white will hold that together.

Fry the Chimichangas

We're going to fry these, seam-side down in a pan on medium heat in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Normally chimichangas are deep-fried, but we're not going to deep fry them. This is a much healthier, easier home version. We're going to go about 2-3 minutes per side. We just want a light brown. We just want to set the tortilla so it holds it shape. All right so that's the seam side - we're going to do the other side the same way.

Bake the Chimichangas

When those are done, we're going to put them on a foiled baking sheet. We're going to put them in a 375 degree F. oven for about 15 minutes. The inside is going to get deliciously melty and gooey, and the outside will get kind of crispy and crunchy. It's really a great method for these.

Again, this is the chimichanga system for how to put these together, but the filling can be any type of meats, cheese, beans, rice, etc. You name it. You can see how delicious that is. By the way, a chimichanga translates to "thing-a-ma-jig" which is kind of a cool name for a dish.

Serving Chimichangas

I'm going to finish this with some guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and cilantro. This is a really nice, easy party-food. You can do a whole bunch ahead and then throw them in the oven when you are ready to serve, Anyway, that is one delicious "thingamajig." I hope you give it a try. Enjoy.

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