Tuscon natives refer to their city as the Mexican food capital of of the U.S. and one of their most popular Mexican dishes is the chimichanga. There are several claims of how the chimichanga was invented but Monica Flin’s story is most compelling. In 1922, Flin opened El Charro Cafe in Tuscon, AZ. While working in the kitchen she accidently dropped a burrito in the deep fryer. She started to curse, but when she realized she had a young audience in the kitchen with her she said “chimichanga” instead. The fried burrito turned out to be a hit and the name stuck. El Charro Cafe is still serving their “Legendary Chimichanga” along with just about every other Mexican dish you can imagine.
Typically, a chimichanga is prepared by filling a flour tortilla with a variety of ingredients such as shredded meats, beans, rice, and cheese. Then it is folded and dipped in a deep fryer. I figured I couldn’t fry the pizza. That would be gross, super unhealthy and really difficult so the fun part of this project was making sure I got to the heart of the chimichanga. I decided to slice a whole wheat tortilla into thin strips and fry the strips in canola oil, then place them on the pizza after baking.
I started creating the pizza by browning ground turkey with diced onion. I mixed in La Preferida Enchilada Sauce and sliced olives, then spread the left over sauce on the pre-baked dough. Next, I sprinkled a thin layer of cheddar cheese on the sauce, topped that with the meat mixture, and lastly I sprinkled on some Mexican cheese. When the pizza was finished baking I topped it with the fried tortilla strips and chopped green onions. I served the pizza with sour cream on the side.
In the past I have made some pizzas that have been good, but I probably wouldn’t make them again. This wasn’t one of them; it was awesome! The red chili sauce tasted delicious with the ground turkey, olives and cheeses. And the fried tortillas gave the pizza that notorious chimichanga flavor, without being too unhealthy. Move over Chicken Fajita pizza, my Chimichanga pizza recipe is definitely my new favorite Mexican pizza!