These are lighter than Tex-Mex chimichangas because they are sautéed rather than deep-fried. Using dark meat results in a moister and more flavorful filling. Although a very simple recipe, the use of fresh herbs and the technique of twice-cooking the chicken add to the depth of flavor. These are nicely accompanied by a salad, such as the Cholula style vegetable salad and, for a heartier meal, Mexican red rice.
For the filling:
- 2 pounds chicken pieces, preferably thighs and legs
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound purple onion, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh marjoram
- 1 cup chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 epazote leaves, chopped
For the sauce:
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 4 ounces chipotles in adobo (remove seeds for less heat)
For the chimichangas:
- 8 flour tortillas
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
Cook the chicken in water to cover and salt to taste until cooked through. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and shred the chicken. Reserve the shredded chicken in the pot of broth in which it was cooked.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the onion and garlic and sauté until light golden brown. Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves and marjoram. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shredded chicken from the broth and add to the skillet. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and cook, uncovered, until the filling is reduced and thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped epazote leaves during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove bay leaves. (Some of the chipotle can be added to the filling if desired.)
While the filling cooks, make the sauce. Puree 1 cup of the chicken broth with the chipotles. Boil in a saucepan for 15 minutes.
To make the chimichangas, divide the filling evenly among the tortillas, roll and fasten with toothpicks. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet, sauté the chimichangas, turning once, until light golden brown on both sides. Remove the toothpicks and serve the chimichangas lightly bathed with the sauce. Garnish with fresh epazote leaves if desired. Serves 4.