Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baked Salsa Verde Chicken Chimichangas

Many culinary historians argue about exactly where chimichangas were invented.  Several Tucson restaurants claim bragging rights. The strongest claim comes from the El Charro Cafe, the oldest Mexican restaurant in Tucson. Family legend say that Monica Flin, who started the restaurant in 1922, cussed in the kitchen when a burrito flipped into the deep fryer. Because young nieces and nephews were in the kitchen with her, she changed the swear word to "chimichanga,"the Spanish equivalent of "thingamagig."


Chimichangas are typically deep fried and pretty high in fat but they don't have to be. The "chimi" can be baked in the oven with wonderful results. My family raved over these and demanded that I make them again soon!  In fact, I've got them on the menu for next week as well!  

By using a rotisserie chicken you can have dinner on the table in a snap.  I like to de-bone my chicken the night before so it's even faster.  Being a working mom I like to plan ahead a little and give myself a break when I can.  The "chimi" sure does perk up a weeknight meal.  It's almost like a party on your plate!

Baked Salsa Verde Chicken Chimichangas

2/3 cup salsa verde
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and chopped
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
10 (8") tortillas
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Optional garnishes
Guacamole, cheese, sour cream, green onions or cilantro

Mix chicken, salsa verde, cumin, oregano, cheese, onions and cilantro.
Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
Fold the tops and bottom of tortilla over filling.  Fold the sides in and place seam side down in a in a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Brush with melted butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  
Top with garnishes, if desired.

Serves 6-8

I wonder if Monica Flin ever realized that her little accident would turn into an AmericanSouthwest specialty?  I don't know..... but I say three cheers for Monica!  She discovered one great thingamagig!


  1. This sounds like a delicious dinner, especially since I love all the ingredients! I recently came across roasted salsa verde in Walmart of all places and it was fantastic! I used in on Enchiladas - yummy! Your dish would make my hubby a very happy camper!

    Have a great day!


  2. Love the Monica Flin story! I had never heard that before... Your pictures are beautiful and the food looks EXTREMELY tasty!

  3. We've never made them at home due to the mess, but I occasionally order them out. I don't think I've had them baked but these sure make me want to try them out - both the ingredients and the plated photo.


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