The Chimi-Chimi-Changa Conga Line
24 Sep 2021
You know those TV shows or movies that have the main character going through something crazy, and they tell the character to think of a happy memory and hold onto it? Do you ever think about what your happy memory would be? I have one that consistently pops into my head that I want to share with you in honor of both National Cooking Day and National Daughters Day.
This special memory is from my childhood, and it is labeled as “The Chimichanga Dance Memory” in my head. In order for you to understand why I hold it so dear, I have to give you a bit of a backstory.
I am a daughter to an amazing woman. She was my best friend when I was a child, maybe not so much when I was a bratty teenager, but then again when I started to grow up and realize just how wonderful she was and is. I get my larger than life laugh and my smile from my her, and let’s face it – the world could use a little more laughing.
My mom is one of the strongest people that I know, for so many reasons. One of those reasons is how she managed to be super-mom to 3 kids, all close in age, all in different sports and activities. She would run all of us around all afternoon and evening and still make sure that we had a good meal at the end of the day. Don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of those repeat filling and easy meals just like most families do (spaghetti, toasted cheese, hot dogs), but about once a month she would make her Chimi-Chimi-Changas. And this is where the memory begins.
The Chimi-Chimi-Changa recipe itself is pretty simple, but it is also pretty darn delicious. That’s not the part of the memory I hold onto, though. Whenever my mom would make these, she would call out – “We’re making chimichangas!!” My brother and I would race into the kitchen, where my mom would be waiting with a spoon, or spatula, or whatever she had in her hand at the moment. We would get in line behind her, and the three of us would start a conga line and proceed to dance all around the kitchen, singing “chimi chimi chanGAS, chimi chimi chanGAS..!” Some nights my older sister would make an appearance with an eye roll before moving on. By the end of the song and our conga line, the three of us would be left in a fit of giggles and dinner would be ready.
Maybe I can credit my love for cooking to the chimichanga conga line, my brain automatically associating cooking with fun. Maybe I loved that my mom kept up happy and healthy and also enjoys cooking for others. Or maybe I just love the taste of food, who knows! All I can say is that conga line left a huge impact on my life, and I hope the story made your day a little bit brighter.
Without further ado, the Chimi-Chimi-Changa recipe itself!
2 1/2 cups chicken
3 tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 8oz tubes crescent rolls
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
salt and pepper
1. Cut up chicken into cubes.
2. Heat up a little olive oil in a pan. Sauté onions for about 5 minutes, add in garlic and sauté for another minute until garlic is fragrant.
3. Add in chicken and cook thoroughly with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add in taco seasoning and cook until mixed well.
5. Take mixture off of the heat and stir in 1 cup of cheese.
6. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Separate crescent rolls into 8 rectangles, firmly pressing on the perforations to seal.
8. Spread about 2 tsp of salsa on each rectangle. Divide chicken mixture onto each rectangle. Roll up rectangles and pinch at the sides to seal in mixture. Place seam side down onto a greased baking sheet.
9. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
10. Remove from the oven, spread salsa onto each rectangle, and then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place back into the oven and bake until cheese melts.
*Serve with sour cream and salsa