I’m kind of a fanatic when it comes to Mexican food. And lucky for me, I live in San Diego where I can get lots of it!
There’s something wonderful about the cuisine that really strikes the perfect balance in each dish. Bright, rich….acidic, salty….spicy, sweet. And the condiments—oh, the condiments! So many options to accompany each bite.
When I’m not ordering fish or al pastor tacos, I’m reaching for a plate of flautas–crispy rolled tacos.
Now here’s the million dollar question. Are they “flautas” or “taquitos”?
I’ve done some research on the matter (okay, I’ve just Googled it and have asked every restaurant I order them from) and there seems to be some mixed thoughts. One school of thought believes that when corn tortillas are involved they become taquitos and are called flautas when flour tortillas are used. Some say it depends on the size and others say it’s regional.
So since I use flour tortillas, I’ll call mine flautas 🙂
And in my humble opinion, what makes a great flauta is not just a crispy exterior but also one that has a really flavorful filling. I start by roasting bone-in chicken breasts that have been seasoned with tons of spices. After shredding it, I combine it with sauteed aromatics, herbs, more spices and lots of cheese.
I’m a big fan of using Sargento’s Mexican Cheese as it contains a blend of Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses. More types of cheese = more flavor.
Of course, one shouldn’t enjoy flautas without fantastic sides. I serve mine with fresh pico de gallo, luscious guacamole and a dollop of sour cream to cool down the spices.
And with that Friends, you’ve got a meal with the perfect symphony of flavors! ¡Olé!
Spicy Chicken Flautas
2 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¾ tablespoon garlic salt, divided
¾ teaspoon ground cumin, divided
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
1½ teaspoons onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
1½teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 cup diced white onion
1 jalapeno pepper, minced*
1 serrano pepper, minced*
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1½ cups Sargento® shredded 4-Mexican Cheese, or cheeses of your choice
12 small flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat the chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with ¼ tablespoon garlic salt, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Use your hands to rub each chicken breast to thoroughly distribute the oil and seasonings. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes or until the thickest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F. Once cooled, remove and discard the skin and bones. Shred the chicken into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Sauté the onions, jalapeno and serrano until the onions are just translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the shredded chicken.
To the chicken, add the remaining garlic salt, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and kosher salt. Stir in the cilantro, scallions, lime juice and cheeses until combined.
Heat a heavy bottomed pot with 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees F.
Working in batches, place 2 heaping spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll up each tortilla and use toothpicks to secure them closed. You may need to slightly heat the tortillas so that they become pliable to roll.
Fry the flautas for 2-3 minutes until they become golden brown. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels to drain off the excess oil. Serve warm with pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream.
*The amount of peppers can be adjusted depending on heat preference.
12 thoughts on “Spicy Chicken Flautas – ¡Olé!”
Those look delicious! I love Mexican. How much oil do you fry them in and how do you manage to make the crisping even with having the toothpicks in? Does cheese not melt out in the process? Just thinking of the logistics as I can see disaster ensuing. I have usually stuck to quesadillas with delicious fillings in the past.
Hi There! The amount of oil you use really depends on the size of your pot. I chose one that could fry about 3 flautas at a time and used enough oil for it to reach about 2 inches up the side of the pot. I didn’t find too much trouble with the toothpicks–I inserted them about 1/2 through. Just enough to secure the tortillas closed but far enough out so that it was easy to pull out. As for the cheese, it acted as a good binding agent for the aromatics and chicken and melted just enough to hold the items in without oozing out. I’d also recommend to not over stuff the flautas to avoid any disasters 🙂
Love Mexican food! These looks super yummy, love the combination you used for that recipe! Can’t wait to try it!
i could use some of this for breakfast just about now! good lookin’ post.
oh yummy yummy! This is one mexican dish I haven’t tried yet! I may have to give it a shot! Great site, btw 🙂
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