Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken Chimichangas

Okay.  Other than the green onions, there is nothing seasonal about this recipe.  That's okay because these are delicious.  So what are chimichangas actually?  True chimichangas are Mexican cuisine and consist of a flour tortilla filled with, most commonly, beans, rice, cheese, ground or shredded beef or chicken, folded into a rectangle and then deep-fried and topped with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and/or more cheese (thanks, wikipedia).

Just so you know, we're not deep-frying anything today.  We are going to roll-up our tortillas into more of a log than a square.  We're going to fill them with cooked chicken, chlies, green onions, garlic, a couple spices and refried beans.  And, you won't need additional toppings for these babies because they are baked with green salsa and cheese already on top.

These are so delicious that because of them, I will be looking into how to can green salsa and chilies this summer so I can make these (less the green onions) next winter.  Talk about comfort food.  Pair these with a fresh garden salad and you have an outstanding meal.  

I also need to tell you that they freeze well, so don't be afraid to make a big batch and put a pan or two in your freezer for a Sunday noon meal.  One more thing.  They have a little bite even if you use mild chilies.  My seven and four year old ate them just fine, although they did drink substantially more water than normal- not a bad thing at all:-).


Chicken Chimichangas (adapted slightly from a recipe from my sister, Emily)
I went ahead and doubled this recipe for you since, like I said, it freezes so well.  For this recipe, you will need two 9 x 13 inch pans or the equivalent.  

3 cups cooked chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3-4 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (4.5 oz) can chopped mild green chiles
2 (16 oz) can refried beans (or make your own)
24 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 (16 oz) jar green salsa

Combine chicken, green onions, oregano, cumin, garlic, and chiles in a bowl and toss. Shred the cheese and set it aside.  Warm your tortillas in the oven or microwave to soften them a bit.

To assemble the chimichangas, lay a tortilla on a plate and place about 3 tbsp. of refried beans down the center.  Top with about 2-3 tbsp, chicken mixture.  Roll them up and they them seam side down in pans coated with cooking spray. Continue assembling until you've used everything up.  Evenly spread the green salsa over the tops of the rolled up chimichangas.  Next, spread the cheese evenly over the tops as well.  Place in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese has turned a lovely light brown (OR cover tightly with foil and freeze unbaked).

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  1. YUM! I cannot wait to try these - keep those recipes coming!

  2. This looks super yummy! I hope you'll share your salsa verde recipe with us. I'm growing a couple of green zebra tomato plants. I tried to grow green chiles last summer, but it was a flop. I'm hoping to do better this year.

  3. Yummalish! So I'm guessing the difference between chimichangas and enchiladas is more cheese vs sauce? I think I might try and make these... in fact I bet JJ's stuffed peppers would go PERFECT with this dish :) Good Work!

  4. We love this recipe - they are so easy and delicious!! Thanks for posting, sister :) I'm excited about your green salsa - sounds delicious!!!

  5. I passed this link on to my sis who was just asking for ideas for meals that freeze well so she can bless a friend having surgery.

    I think I will make these too!

  6. Yum, that looks amazing. I'm going to have to try it, I have the ingredients! mmm!
    Also,... I think you may have recently sent me some info regarding homeschool material that was meant for one of your other 'Laura' followers. If I requested it, and forgotten, forgive me. I think someone else may be wondering tho.
    Many thanks always- off to dice the chicken.

  7. I'm salivating. Chicken, cheese, and chile. *happy sigh* When I make something like that, I usually lessen the chile and add tomatillo (I love it hot, but the hub is a bit of a punk...) I'm totally making this (well, I'm low carbing, so I'll have to adjust) for tomorrow's dinner!

  8. These look delish! Will try them tomorrow for sure. If the chilies have a bit of bite then try some butter milk to sip with supper. Milk helps take the heat out of your mouth with spicey foods.

  9. Oh, and if you find a good recipe for the green salsa, I hope you'll post it. :)

  10. Yum. Make them WITH the green onions in winter! I grow a variety called Hardy Evergreen White because it stays green and harvestable -- uncovered -- all winter. Even under snow and ice. I'd send a kid out to chop some off every other day, it seemed, and our salads and omelettes and pastas were much nicer for the green. Then in summer you can just divide them.

  11. Fresh green chiles freeze really well!!! When living in Colorado, I would buy a bushel of fresh roasted every year, take off the skins, stems, and seeds, then freeze in 1 cup portions in sandwich bags. They taste so much better than canned! Living in North Carolina, I have missed my fresh green chiles! But last August, they actually shipped them in to my local Harris Teeter and roasted them here! I grabbed 10lbs of fresh roasted chiles and still have some in my freezer!!! We love our Mexican food!! Blessings!

  12. I made these chimichangas last night for a little dinner party. They were fantastic and got compliments from everyone!!!

  13. this chimichanga are mine! i have to make those! YYuuumMMM

  14. I had some leftover chicken that I needed to use for dinner but didn't feel making the usual dishes I would normally make. So I scanned the recipes on this sight and found this. Am so happy I tried it! My husband loved it and my insanely picky 7 yr old tried it because he said it looked so good. I left out the geen onions since I forgot to purchase them. Served them with sour cream, sliced jalapeno (on the side for me!), brown rice, black beans and a salad. YUM!

  15. I made these yesterday, 2/3rds your way, and 1/3 vegetarian (black beans, diced peppers, and corn in place of the chicken), and everyone enjoyed them. Thanks for another great recipe, I really have come to rely on your blog when wanting to try something new with ingredients I most likely already have on hand. (Speaking of 'on hand' it was my first time trying salsa verde, that I had to run out and buy- it was good! Reminded me a bit of the green tomato relish/salsa I have been canning of late.)

  16. Loved this recipe!
    Question: What is the cooking time if taken directly from the freezer?

  17. stephen&khara,
    I'm so glad you liked them! I'm sorry, but I've never put them in the oven frozen. I always stick them in the fridge the night before or set them on the counter in the morning- keeping an eye on them so I can stick them in the fridge when they're thawed. If you figure it out, please come back and let us know:-).

  18. Did you ever put up the green chiles for winter use last year? If so, how did you preserve them? Frozen? Canned? If canned what size jars?

    We have friends who are originally from New Mexico who grow peppers every year here in Indiana. They have been gracious enough to start a couple of plants for us this year due to the building project going on at our place. I am so excited to see how well they grow as we love to eat these types of meals all year long.

    Thank you for the recipe!

  19. Peggy, I did not do anything with green chilies last year. I briefly looked online to see if I could find a recipe/someone who had done it and came up empty handed, so I abandoned the search. If you come across something or try it this year and like it, please come back and tell me? Thank you:-).

  20. For my fresh green chiles that I grow, I put them in the oven to brown the skin then peel off the skin, chop, put in freezer safe bags (or food saver bags), date and freeze. I do this also with jalapenos and they work great for use in recipes throughout the year. Chiles and peppers grow so easy it is really cost effective way of storing them.


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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