Oh chimichanga, how do we love you? Let us count the ways. While every family worth their Southwestern salt has a few chimichanga recipes, just like tamales, it’s always fun to try a new variation at home to see which version really is the best. While oven baked chimichangas are admittedly easy Mexican food compared to deep-frying on the stove, you just need that crispy fried exterior to qualify it as chimichanga at all. We took a look at Flavortown’s resident chimichanga recipe from Guy Fieri to see just how he makes them at home.
Before we begin, it’s important to note the origin of chimichangas. One source states that Monica Flin, the founder of El Charro in Tucson, Arizona, dropped a burrito into the deep-fat fryer by accident in 1922. She began to say a Spanish profanity, and instead redirected to, “Chimichanga!” However, Woody Johnson claims that he invented the chimichanga in 1946 when he was experimenting with deep-fried burrtios at Woody’s El Nido, which would eventually become Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen. Either way, there’s no doubting the Tex-Mex favorite and when it comes to Mexican food recipes we make frequently in the home, this is it.
Let’s see how Guy Fieri does it.
Guy’s Top Notch Top Round Chimichangas use beef rump, though if you want to sub in chicken for chicken chimichangas, you’re more than welcome. Chicken thigh meat is best for deep frying, just like the thighs are the best parts of fried chicken. Additionally, if you want to use shredded beef, you can cook a pot roast and use the leftovers for chimichangas. Now that’s how you stretch out a meal, y’all!
All of the elements of Mexican dishes are in his recipe list, from refried beans to black beans to yellow onions. While he doesn’t include green chile and instead goes with chili powder for the rump seasoning, I always add in a can or two into my bean mixture. It’s a requirement for the Mexican meals I make regularly at home, and is definitely necessary for my chicken chimichanga recipe.
Guy goes with flour tortillas for deep frying, which I also use because I can rarely find 11-inch or 12-inch corn tortillas in the grocery store. The most important part of frying chimichangas (that you can skip if you’re making baked chicken chimichangas instead) is to seal the tortillas closed with a skewer or toothpicks.
Guy tops his beef chimichangas with sour cream, shredded iceberg lettuce, salsa, and pepper jack cheese. He also includes diced tomatoes and one avocado, but I prefer to slather a yummy white cream sauce (usually lime chili crema) all over, whether they’re oven-fried chicken chimichangas or beef enchiladas.
There’s just something undeniably good about that crispy outer tortilla. Don’t wait for an occasion like Cinco de Mayo to make this simple dinner recipe; every night can be Tex-Mex night.
This quickly became one of my favorite recipes from Guy Fieri, hosted on Food Network, but do you think this easy chimichanga recipe tastes better than your grandmother’s?