Chicken flautas: fried tortillas

If you are having a busy week with little time to cook, crispy Mexican flautas can be just the thing. Using precooked chicken rolled in tortillas then quickly fried or baked, you can have dinner on the table on very short notice.

Four tortillas packed with cooked chicken and fried quickly make 'flautas' and an easy weeknight dinner.

Flautas, if you didn’t know already, are crispy fried rolled tacos, and can be filled with a variety of things. I chose to do chicken as an example. However, this can be changed!

But is it a rolled taco? Or taquito? Or flauta?

Yes, these tacos are rolled (and baked or fried crispy). The defining element is the type of tortilla used. It is generally agreed that if it uses a flour tortilla, it is called a flauta (or flute), and if it uses a corn tortilla, it is called a taquito (or little taco). And as well, if you did these burrito sized, they are the much beloved chimi.

I first had them years ago after I had already fallen in love with chimichangas. As a smaller version, they are easier to justify having them (since I like mine fried).

I do give directions for baking them here as well. They turn out nicely, although I daresay the baked ones are never as crisp as the fried, but you can choose what you like for you and your family.

Normally I would bake/roast the chicken myself, but since this a 30-minute rush recipe, I made these using a rotisserie chicken, which you can pick up at just about any grocer.

Once you have the chicken chopped up, it really is short work to get these to the table.

And if you like, I have included a recipe for (fresh) salsa cruda and home made guacamole to use as garnishes and dip. Those are so easy you shouldn’t have to worry about buying those at the market.

Chicken flautas with salsa cruda and simple guacamole
Serves 5

For the flauta:

2-1/2 cups chopped cooked roasted chicken
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and black pepper to taste
10 6-inch flour tortillas
20 toothpicks
cooking oil (if frying) or olive oil spray (if baking)

For the salsa cruda:

1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon tomato paste (from tube)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced serrano or jalapeno pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and black pepper (to taste)

Simple guacamole:

1 avocado, lightly mashed
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small serrano pepper, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
salt and black pepper (to taste)

1. Prepare salsa by mixing salsa ingredients together and prepare guacamole by mixing the guac ingredients together; cover the guac with plastic if it is to sit very long as it tends to oxidize. Do not prepare the guack well in advance but only 10-15 minutes early (it doesn’t take long to do).

2. Chop chicken and toss with ground cumin, salt and pepper.

3. Heat cooking oil in a skillet about an inch deep to hot but not smoking. Or alternatively, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Briefly warm flour tortillas just until soft (you can use a microwave or griddle).

5. Place 1/4 cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla and roll up, securing the tortilla with two toothpicks in an “x” pattern.

6. Fry rolled flautas in hot oil, for several minutes on each side or until golden and crispy; drain on paper toweling. Or to bake, spray each side with olive oil spray (or you could brush lightly with oil) and place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once.

7. Remove toothpicks before serving.

8. Serve flautas with salsa and guacamole.

Related post on A Palatable Pastime: Simple and easy roast chicken

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