Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chicken Flautas

A little foodie info for you: I always thought the key difference between flautas and taquitos was that flautas were wrapped in a flour tortilla then fried, and taquitos were wrapped in corn tortillas and then fried. Not so people. Truth be told (by my brother) the word taquito is a "made-up" tex-mex/American name. If you go down to Mexico, etc. and ask for a taquito they will give you a little taco. Taquito translates to "little taco" - the suffix "ito" meaning little.

A flauta, however translates to flute in Spanish, which is what these little morsels are originally called because their rolled shape resembles a flute.

Other tid bit: flautas are made with corn tortillas (just like you find the frozen taquito you buy at Costco and other fine food institutions) Bummer for me, I was totally thinking they fried in flour (much like a mini flute shaped chimichanga)

We came up with this little recipe for dinner last night. Much love and thanks to my brother who just returned home from a Spanish speaking mission. He helped ease my chronic "must have a recipe to back up my ideas" hold up. And assured that even though I couldn't find a recipe to support my plans, that I indeed was on the right track.

I hope you enjoy.

Makes 16-18

Corn tortillas
2 chicken breasts
1 small onion, diced (roughly 1/2 cup)
1 can diced green chiles
1 garlic glove, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grated cheese (I used pepper jack, which gave them a nice kick. Next time I want to try queso fresco. Monterey jack would also work well. I'd steer clear of cheddar and swiss, not the flavor you're going for.)

Heat your oil for frying (we heat ours to 350*)

Boil your chicken breasts in a pot of water for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Shred (or small dice) and set aside.

In a small saucepan, sweat onions in a little olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and green chiles. Cook another 3-5 minutes.

Combine chicken and onion mixture in a mixing bowl. Mix in grated cheese. Place a small amount of filling on each corn tortilla, roll them up, and secure with a toothpick. (If you find that your corn tortillas are ripping/breaking, it helps to warm them up in the hot oil for a few seconds - don't fry them, just warm them up. You could also steam them in the oven or microwave but I have found the oil works the best to get them nice and pliable.)

Fry your flautas (flutes) until they hold their shape. (Everything is pre-cooked so you only have to worry about getting them to hold their shape.) My husband likes them so they still have some chew in the tortilla. The teenage boys you came over after dinner liked theirs crispy. It's just a matter of preference, so fry them how you want. It doesn't take longer than 2-3 minutes a piece, however.

Make sure to remove toothpicks before serving. We like ours with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa (red or tomatillo) Last night we rounded out our meal with this. Yum, Yum!

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