The Odessa Record -

Mini pizzas, pizza dough & chicken chimichangas

Series: Welcome to my Kitchen | Story 12

One thing can be said about Odessa weather of late, it’s changeable. The weather leading up to grain harvest is often like this. Shall I make salad or soup for the days meals? Will it be hot or chilly come meal time?

I had a request for baked chimichangas and these easy to eat out of hand crisp burritos are tasty no matter the weather. Some internet searching, came up with two chicken based versions. Chicken and Bean Chimichangas comes from the website, Tastes Better From Scratch. Easy and fairly quick to prepare, you control the spiciness by the heat in the salsa you use. They can be ready to eat in less than an hour.

Chicken and Bean Chimichangas

2 medium chicken breasts

or 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

4 Tbsp cooking oil

1 can, (16 ounces) refried beans

1/2 cup salsa, your favorite kind

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried, crushed, oregano leaves

1 tsp chili powder

1 cup grated cheese, cheddar or Mexican blend

2 green onions, chopped

6 large flour tortillas (10 inch)

In a medium skillet, cook chicken breasts in 1 Tbsp oil until tender and no longer pink. Remove from heat and allow to rest a few minutes before chopping.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine refried beans, cheese, salsa, spices and green onions. When chicken is cooled slightly, chop and add to mixture, stirring to combine well.

Divide mixture into six equal portions and place in the center of each tortilla. Fold in opposite side of the tortilla then roll up like a burrito.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush chimichangas lightly with remaining oil and place on baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Yield: 6 chimichangas.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, diced tomato, shredded cheese and salsa if desired.

Baked Chicken Chimichangas, the second recipe I tried, contain about the same ingredients, minus the refried beans and comes from the website The Girl Who Ate Everything. This recipe is a little faster to prepare because it calls for pre-cooked chicken.

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 cup salsa, your favorite kind

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried, crushed oregano leaves

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 green onions, chopped

6 flour tortillas ( 8 inch)

2 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, salsa, spices, cheese and onions. Mix well.

Divide mixture into six equal portions and place at the center of each tortilla. Fold in opposite sides. Roll up from one edge and place seam side down on baking sheet.

Brush with melted butter. Bake for 25– 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with the condiments of the previous recipe if desired.

Both recipes reheat nicely, best done in a preheated 325 oven, but they can be microwaved. Also noted on both recipes, you can pan fry them if you like.

To pan fry, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil to the skillet and place chimichangas seam side down. Turn every 30 seconds or so until lightly golden on both sides.

More on chimichangas next time after I have opportunity to try the beef varieties.

Next week some Odessa young people will be taking part in the Summer Recreation Program cooking classes. The up to age 9 group will be making biscuit pizza and the 10 and above will be making a yeast raised crust for their pizza. I am including the instructions for both in this weeks column. (moms, grandparents, babysitters, you may want to save this for future reference).

Grand Mini Pizzas

1 can (16.3 ounces) Grand or large refrigerator regular style biscuits

1 cup pizza sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 package (3 1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Press each biscuit into a 6 inch round. Place on 2 large greased cookie sheets. Top each with 2 Tbsp pizza sauce, then 1/4 cup mozzarella and 5 or 6 pepperoni slices.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Yield: 8 six inch pizzas.

Optional toppings may include: 1 tsp sliced olives, 1 Tbsp well drained, sliced mushroom pieces.

There are many recipes for different types and styles of pizza dough. The following is an easy, basic recipe suitable for most pizza types. Any style yeast will work in this recipe.

Pizza Dough

1/4 cup shortening or butter

1/2 cup milk, heated to 110 degrees

1 package or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

Heat shortening and milk until melted and mixture reaches 110 degrees. Add yeast, mixing well and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in all the flour and salt at once, mixing by hand until dough clings together.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover with a warm bowl and let rise about 30 minutes or until double in bulk.

Roll out dough to almost the size of the pizza pan. Place dough in pan and press with your fingers to fit.

Add about 1/2 cup pizza sauce, sprinkle with 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese and about two thirds of the mozzarella and other cheeses you plan to use. Then add any other toppings you like.

Suggested baking temperature is 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Share your favorite recipes and summer cooking tips with your fellow reads by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159 or email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Water gardens and flowerbeds in the cool of the morning or after the sun goes down in the evening for best absorption and less evaporation. All plants, but particularly tomatoes, take up water more efficiently when it is cool out.


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