Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flautas/Taquitos the Easy Way


My husband is Mexican. Atleast I think he is. His Spanish is lacking and I usually am the one teaching our kids about our ancestors, but he can cook a mean Mexican meal. And, we have his mom to thank. I always hear how mother-in-laws can be a nightmare and I have to thank the good Lord up above that I have an angel in my MIL. She loves and I mean LOVES to cook. I don't. I burn cornflakes and water all the time;).  But suegra (MIL) thought me how to make a semi-homemade meal since there was no way that I could make it from scratch as she usually does. 
So here is my quick recipe for flautas (means flutes in Spanish) or taquitos made my MIL's way.

You will need:
1- your favorite tortillas- here I used flour and corn
2- your favorite frying oil
3- store bought and fully cooked rotisserie chicken- has some spice already in it!
4- your favorite spices or just get Sazon Goya or Sofrito/Recaito Goya (these are usually found in the Spanish section of the food store).
5- jalapeños- diced-optional
6- cilantro, onions and garlic as you prefer
7- pair of kitchen tongs
8- kitchen towel for tortillas
9-two pans- one deep and one shallow
10- a large dish for your made flautas


Prep:
1) You will need to break down - literally shred- your store bought chicken. This can be a bit greasy, but its ok. The first time I did this I used my cutting scissors, then I got brave and now only use my hands to break it down.
2) Place - without oil since the chicken should have enough oil in it already- the shredded chicken in a shallow pan and add  your favorite spices. I used cilantro, Sofrito Goya and Sazon Goya (which has the onions and other ingredients in it). You can add the hot peppers at this time if you like.

3) Once your shredded chicken is heated and has absorbed the added spices, set aside.
4) In a deep pan, begin to heat your favorite frying oil. I use Canola. You will not need a ton of oil if you continuously watch and turn your flautas.
5) While your oil is heating up, open your pack of tortillas and wrap them all in your tortilla towel (without the plastic wrap).Put them in the microwave for about 2 minutes or less. The idea is to get the tortilla warm and flexible so that it does not break when you set it in the oil.

6) Carefully, check your tortillas that they are not sticking and are flexible enough to work with. PLEASE BE CAREFUL< THEY CAN BE HOT. Wait till they aren't a danger to touch before filling them with the chicken but not too cold.
7) Add the chicken to the edge of your tortilla and roll the tortilla.
8) Place the wrapped chicken in the heated oil with the opening face down. Let them drop slightly if you can or use the tongs.
Notice the broken tortilla- it was not heated thoroughly. 

9) Turn the flautas (tortilla wrapped chicken) as  you see that they begin to brown or become golden.
10) Take care to not let the chicken drop into the oil from the sides. If it does, you will get popping and ouchy oil burns. The minute a piece of chicken drops from the tortilla, get it out.
11) Stack and enjoy w. your favorite sides.
My large 1970's plate- inherited from my dear aunt- que en paz descanse.
NOTE:
 If you use flour tortillas, they can brown up rather quickly- keep an eye on them. These will be crunchier on the outside and quite delicious; however, they don't  wrap together very well and they tend to absorb too much oil.


For his birthday, I made the hubster one of his favorite meals. I told him that I first cooked the chicken, then made the tortillas from corn and even boiled the beans long enough to get them tender. Truth is, that would have taken me over 3 hours to do. Actually about 8 with the way I cook! The above recipe only takes 30 minutes. Honestly, the first time it took me about 1.5 hours because I was so scared of the hot oil. Use a pair of thongs if you need to;)

ENJOY,
Gabli


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