baked chimichangas

In technique on February 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm

omg, you guys, you have to try these.

don’t worry about not having the exact “right” filling. the take-away here is the technique of getting a super crunchy outside with a hot, cheesy, melty filling on the inside. without frying.

although the filling was pretty darn good, too. i used brown rice, chicken, black beans, cilantro, minced shallot, s&p and (of course) “mexican blend” cheese.

you could definitely use leftover chicken or even buy a rotisserie chicken from the store (or leave it out entirely and add extra beans for you veggies out there), but since i had the whole day, i started by baking 2 pounds of skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs.

this is ina garten’s technique for starting chicken salad, and it certainly keeps the meat extra flavorful and moist.

rub with olive oil and sprinkle with s&p, then bake for about 30 minutes at 375.

when the chicken cools, remove the meat and shred it.

then mix your filling. i’m sure there’s a recipe somewhere for “correct” proportions, but that’s really not important. what’s important is that it looks like you have a nice, happy little ratio of meat-to-rice-to-beans.

i definitely recommend adding cilantro for freshness, but if you don’t have it, no sweat.

i also recommend using minced shallots or green onions (milder than regular onions) so if they don’t cook all the way, you don’t bite into a huge chunk of raw onion. if you only have regular onion, you might want to sautee it in a little olive oil before adding it to the filling, or mince it very very finely.

microwave several 10-inch flour tortillas for less than a minute just to soften them up and roll thusly:

meanwhile, preheat your oven – and a metal baking sheet – to 450 degrees.

brush the chimichangas with olive oil, quickly set them on the hot baking sheet and return it right away to the oven.

this preheating helps brown the bottoms really fast, sealing the tortilla together and the delicious filling inside.

bake for 10-15 minutes until nicely browned on top.

serve with salsa. see how crispy the outside is?

and the best part? leftovers heat up great and even re-crisp in a toaster oven for lunch the next day!

[inspired by cook’s country]

  1. these look D-LISH!

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