7.05.2011

Chicken Chimichangas And A Tortilla Party

Chicken chimichangas

Because I still had so many packages of tortillas to get through from the generous supply Tortilla Land sent me, I thought it would be fun to invite some friends over to help me eat them. I posed a challenge to all those invited to bring something we could eat in or with the tortillas (or, you know, drink alongside the tortillas), and everyone came through.


My contribution was chimichangas. (Don't you just love the sound of that word? It's so fun to say. Go ahead, try it. See what I mean?)

I had never made chimichangas at home before, but they sounded like the perfect tortilla party dish, and an easy recipe for them in Cook's Country was all the motivation I needed to give them a shot.

On Saturday afternoon, before my guests arrived, I prepared the filling for the chimichangas, and then I just left it on the counter covered and waited to wrap the filling inside the tortillas and fry up the chimichangas until later, when everyone could enjoy them hot.

Chicken chimichanga filling

To get the party started, I layered some Tostitos on a sheet pan, topped them with a generous amount of cheese, and baked them until the cheese got bubbly and melty. This ended up being a great idea because when my guests arrived, we had plenty of accompaniments to enjoy with the cheesy nachos.

Meghan brought a grilled corn, tomato, and jicama salad. I couldn't get enough of it. It was crisp, tart, and ideal for summer.


Michelle brought a roasted vegetable salsa. She kept it on the mild side because she knows I can't handle the heat, but I still thought it had a decent kick and really enjoyed it.


And Bianca whipped up some guacamole. One of the main reasons I make Mexican food is for an excuse to eat gobs and gobs of guacamole. Bianca's guacamole was incredibly fresh and well flavored.


Soon, Christine arrived with all the ingredients for some fabulous spicy and un-spicy guava margaritas. It was officially a party!


Elizabeth brought a green salad, and together we fried up strips of the tortillas to top the salad. I noticed a lot of people were just digging right into the strips or dipping those in salsa. I guess you could say we like our fried food.

Tortilla strips

Alicia trekked up from Connecticut for the occasion and contributed an assortment of veggies that I sliced, sauteed in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and handed off to Elizabeth to use in some veggie quesadillas.



Quesadillas

Finally, it was time for me to assemble and fry the chicken chimichangas. I was blown away by how good they were. (I even admit to eating a few leftover, cold bites of them after everyone went home!)

Chicken chimichangas

Emily, who had planned to be out of town, was able to come at the last minute and brought some delicious fudge from her morning trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We all loved the dark and stormy fudge with its heavy ginger notes. Oh, and she also brought her dog, Sadie. Gunner was very happy to have a playmate for the evening.


And if you know me, you know I can't really throw a party without making dessert, so I whipped up a margarita cake on Saturday afternoon as well. You'll have to come back for that recipe.
 
Chicken Chimichangas (adapted from Cook's Country, July 2011)
Print this recipe
 
Ingredients

1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
Salt and pepper
2 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 16 ounces of chicken)
1 tablespoon plus 3 cups vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon water
8 Tortilla Land flour tortillas (sold at Costco)

Preparation

Whisk broth and chipotles together in 2-cup liquid measuring cup.

Combine 1/2 cup chipotle broth, rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave until liquid is completely absorbed, about 5 minutes.


Pat chicken dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.


Stir in garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Add remaining chipotle broth, parcooked rice, and beans, and bring mixture to a boil.


Reduce heat to medium-low. Nestle chicken in the rice and bean mixture, cover, and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn chicken halfway through.



Transfer chicken to cutting board, and let rest 10 minutes. Dice chicken, and stir chicken, cheddar, and cilantro into the rice and bean mixture.


When ready to fry chimichangas, in a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 3 cups oil to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour and water.

Working with one tortilla at a time, place a generous spoonful of the chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla. Using a pastry brush, brush the flour mixture around the outside edge of the tortilla. Wrap the top and bottom of the tortilla over the filling. Then brush the ends with a little more paste and fold them up and press to seal.

Chicken chimichangas

Chicken chimichangas

Fry two chimichangas at a time by placing them in the oil seam side down. Fry until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. (If you use regular flour tortillas, this may only take 2 minutes per side.)

Chicken chimichangas

Drain chimichangas on wire rack set inside sheet pan.

Chicken chimichangas

Repeat with remaining chimichangas, making sure to maintain oil temperature at 325 degrees.

Serve hot.

If you fear frying, the chicken, rice, and bean mixture would also make a great burrito or quesadilla filling.

What's the last thing you made with tortillas? (I have 120 more to get through!)

22 comments:

  1. Well, I already mentioned they are good with Nutella! And you are a master at frying them. That chimichanga filling was SO good. I will definitely be making them at home.

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  2. I love saying Chimichanga too. Such a fun word. The party looks like it was a huge success!

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  3. You are seriously the hostess with the mostest. This party was SO much fun. We should definitely do it more often. Can't wait for the margarita cake post!

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  4. After the party, we made burritos, quesadillas and nachos with the tortillas! I really like them a lot!

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  5. such a great party, so sad to miss it. the chimichangas look amazing!

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  6. Thank you again for having us! We posted about this party at the same time too (great minds think alike/schedule blog posts at the same time heehee). The cake was DELICIOUS and so, so pretty! We all had a lovely time!

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  7. Wow, my mouth is SERIOUSLY watering right now. Gotta try making those chimichangas at home!

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  8. Sounds like a fun afternoon - those Chimichangas look so amazing! They are one of my go-to's when I am out for some Mexican (American Mexican!)

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  9. This party looks like a blast!! So happy you guys had such a great time! Everything looks so delicious as well :)

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  10. WOW, what a nice spread. Seems like I would gobble it all up!

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  11. I've been pigging out on these tortillas!! Enchiladas are in the fridge for tonight's dinner

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  12. WOW! What an incredible looking feast! Everything looks delicious... especially those chimichangas! I need to try making those at home!

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  13. Fun party! And chimichanga is a fun word. Never thought of it much until now and I can't get out of my head. Thanks for that.

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  14. what a perfect idea to use the tortillas, everything looks FABULOUS!!!

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  15. i LOVE this party idea! you guys had a great spread of food!

    you HAVE to make these stacked roasted veggie enchiladas to use up more of your tortillas---you'll love them! http://www.thesweetslife.com/2011/04/stacked-roasted-vegetable-enchiladas.html

    or bake the chips with cinn/sugar and make a fruit salsa http://www.thesweetslife.com/2010/07/fruit-salsa.html

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  16. This tortilla party sounds like such a fun idea! Parties with great food and great company are the best. The chimichangas look so delicious - I don't fry much myself but these look pretty fantastic.

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  17. What a fun party and amazing spread! I would be willing to get out the fryer to make your chimichangas - yum!

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  18. These look totally delicious and like you girls had a ton of fun. It must be a tasty night when you all get together!

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  19. yum! I certainly have never had homemade chimichangas. They look amazing!

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  20. Looks like a fun party! Especially when delicious Mexican food is involved!

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  21. Made these last night and they are sooo good. I've never had a chimichanga before so I didn't have anything to compare them too. I also baked mine in the broiler instead of frying for a healthier meal.

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  22. So glad you enjoyed them and that baking them worked out!

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