I made these for a client one time and the guests just raved about them. Some of the guests at that party happened to be family members, as well. Thus, whenever I am asked to bring an appetizer to a family party, these mini chimichangas are often requested. They require a bit of work to assemble and cook, but in the end they are totally worth it. Don’t forget the Southwest Ranch dipping sauce either; the combination of the cool, creamy sauce with the warm, crispy tortilla is amazing. After frying, the tortilla develops a sweet undertone which goes nicely with the subtle heat of the chicken.
Mini Southwest Chimichangas
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4-5 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound total)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 6, 8-inch flour tortillas, quartered
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- 1 tbsp mild taco seasoning
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Add first seven ingredients to a small bowl and mix well to combine. Rub spice mixture onto both sides of chicken thighs.
Place thighs on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray and cook for 20 – 25 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, chop into bite-size pieces.
In a large bowl, add corn, beans, cheese, cilantro and chicken. Mix well to combine. Place about 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture near the middle of the tortilla. With “point” of the triangle tortilla piece facing you, begin rolling away from you, while folding up each corner. Continue rolling until closed; you may need to use a little water or non-stick cooking spray to help seal the seams. Continue until all tortillas have been rolled.
Put enough oil in a large pot to so that when the chimichangas are frying, they are completely submerged. Heat oven medium-high heat until oil reaches 350 degrees. Fry 4 – 5 chimichangas at a time, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry for 3 – 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined sheet pan. Continue until all chimichangas have been fried. Cut in half on a diagonal and serve immediately with dipping sauce or let cool and freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan wrapped in plastic wrap. Chimichangas can be re-heated from frozen in a 350 degree for 10 – 12 minutes or until hot throughout.
For the Southwest Ranch dipping sauce, combine ranch and taco seasoning. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.