I’ve lived my entire life in the Valley of the Sun within the great state of Arizona. Whenever I have family or friends that have never been to Arizona come and visit, the one thing that they always point out first is the heat. It’s a pretty hard topic to avoid if you’re not used to sweltering temperatures that reach into the triple digits.

However, one thing that I never hear being complained about is the multitude of amazing food options that Arizona has to offer. The Southwest is a hotbed (quite literally) for authentic spicy foods that originated across the border. The most popular has to be the chimichanga, which comes from the region.

It’s said that the chimichanga started in the early 20th century when a restaurant owner accidentally dropped a burrito in a deep fat fryer and was about to say a swear word before “chimichanga” came out of her mouth. Others have laid claim to the chimichanga over the years, but one thing’s for sure: it just keeps getting better and has become a staple of Arizona cuisine.

While Arizona doesn’t have an official state food, there have been numerous petitions signed in hopes of getting the chimichanga notarized as the official state food when the state turned 100 years old in 2012. Unfortunately, that law was never passed, but many of us recognize the chimichanga as a pure Arizona dish.

With that said, you’re probably wondering how you can make an authentic Arizona chimichanga in your own kitchen. It might actually be easier than you think, and it won’t take you a lot of time! In just a little over an hour, you can have enough to feed an entire family (with some left). We’ll show you how to make your own chimichangas at home, with a little sour cream sauce on top. Enjoy!

Preparation Time: 65 to 70 Minutes

Serves: 8 People

Nutrition (Per Serving):

Calories: 500
Fat: 30 g
Protein: 26 g
Carbohydrates: 32 g
Sodium: 1,100 mg
Cholesterol: 70 mg

What You’ll Need:

For the Chicken Filling:

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 3 Minced Cloves of Garlic
  • ½ Cup of Diced Onion
  • 1 Can (7 Ounces) of Chopped Green Chilies
  • ⅛ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 3 Cups of Water

For the Sour Cream Sauce:

  • 1 Cube Chicken Bouillon
  • ½ Cup of Sour Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 8 Ounces of Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  • Frying Oil
  • 1 Cup of Water

Cooking Directions:

  1. Take out a large saucepan and add in your two chicken breast halves. Pour in three cups of water, then add in a tablespoon of chili powder, ⅓ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon of onion powder, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of cumin and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.
  2. Set the stovetop to high heat, allowing the mixture in the saucepan to simmer. Then, reduce the heat to a medium-low setting and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Once that time has passed, add in a half cup of diced onions, three minced cloves of garlic and a half can of chopped green chillies. Allow this mixture to continue simmering until the liquid has reduced to one cup.
  3. Remove the chicken from the saucepan and use forks to shred the chicken. Once you’ve done that, place it back into the pan. You should also have half of the green chilies set aside.
  4. In a separate saucepan, place the pan on medium heat and melt your two tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add in two tablespoons of flour, stirring it and allowing it to cook for one minute. Then, add in a cup of water and a cube of chicken bouillon, whisking them together until the cube has dissolved and the water becomes thick. Overall, this should take about four minutes.
  5. Once that’s done, add in the rest of your green chilies and a half cup of sour cream, adding in a pinch of salt and pepper for taste. Make sure to keep this mixture warm in the saucepan while we finish up elsewhere.
  6. For this next part, you can use a deep fryer or another large saucepan. Either way, make sure that your oil reaches 375 degrees. While it’s heating up, take out a tortilla and place about ⅓ cup of the chicken filling on the bottom third of the tortilla, making it into a rectangle shape and flattened.
  7. Sprinkle on an ounce of the Monterey Jack shredded cheese on top of the filling and fold the tortilla over. Fold the left and right edges over and then roll up the tortilla so that you have a nice tight cylinder, then repeat the process with the rest of the tortillas and filling.
  8. Cooking two of the tortillas at a time, make sure that they are crispy and golden brown on both sides, which should take about 60 seconds per side. Drain the finished chimichangas on a plate lined with paper towels until you have all of them set aside. Your chimichangas are now finished, and all you have to do is add the sour cream sauce on top to garnish and you’re ready to serve and enjoy!