Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baked Chicken Taquitos (Flautas)

Today's post is sharing a recipe that hits several criteria in my book. It's a tasty recipe to make up for the family. It's one that is easily doubled. It freezes well so you can make some for later. It makes GREAT leftovers. 

I originally found the baked chicken taquitos recipe on Pinterest. It comes from a blog called "Chef-In-Training." The recipe can be found here. If you follow it to the letter, it's a good recipe. It's easy to prepare in advance (read: during nap time) and simply cook when it's time to eat. I love that they're baked instead of fried like a traditional taquito. Speaking of which, are taquitos supposed to have corn shells? A quick wiki search just told me that a flour tortilla is actually a flauta. Good to know. 

If you've read many of my posts on recipes, you probably know I don't settle for a recipe "as-is." I'm constantly experimenting as well as utilizing what I have on hand. Here is my alteration of the recipe:

4 oz (half package) cream cheese softened
3 roasted green chiles, chopped
1/2 lime (squeezed for juice)
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder 
3/4 tsp onion flakes 
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (more on this in a minute)
1 cup shredded mexican/fiesta cheese
about a dozen small tortillas (I use flour as they stay rolled better)
sea salt or kosher salt
cooking spray

The inspiration for some of my changes is because I received some gorgeous green chiles in my bountiful basket last week. I roasted all of them on the grill (hi heat, 4-5 minutes per side until charred, put in glass bowl covered with plastic wrap until cool, peel skin, de-seed and chop). I'm nuts over roasted peppers or chiles. The flavor is amazing. In addition to the roasted chiles, I had about 1 cup of seasoned shredded chicken in my freezer. It was left over from the last time I made chimichangas. The meat is so flavorful I thought it would be great in the taquitos/flautas. You can find the recipe to make this seasoned chicken here on "Mama To The Max." I only had half the amount of chicken I needed, so I added one large chicken breast's worth of shredded chicken to the mix. It wasn't seasoned, but there were enough other spices to make up for it. There are a few other tweaks I made to the recipe based on the flavors of the seasoned chicken (less onion, no garlic, more cumin, less chili powder). 

Basically you mix up all the ingredients, spoon about 2-3 Tbsp into a tortilla, and roll tightly. If you want to freeze and cook later, do it now. If you want to cook, spread on a cookie sheet so they're not touching, spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Cook in 425 oven for 12-15 minutes. If you're baking from frozen, I've found a 375-400 oven for 20 minutes seems to work better. The basic recipe makes a dozen using the 8" tortilla size. I wouldn't recommend using larger tortillas. 

The roasted chiles and seasoned meat made this dish SO much better. I'm a flavor junkie, so this hit the spot. Plus there were extras for both my husband and I to eat for lunch today. Can't beat that!

Sorry, I don't have pictures, but you'll have to trust me on this one. Enjoy!!