We eat a lot of Mexican food. A lot of those posts will end up here. I won’t apologize!
Flautas are delicious, crispy tortilla rolls, similar to taquitos but bigger. And better in every way. The version I found on Pinterest (from the blog Healthy. Delicious.) is oven baked, so you avoid the guilt and hassle of deep frying. Hubby and I were a little weirded out by the spinach at first, but you can barely taste it! Which is a big plus for green haters. We can barely wait for these to cool before wolfing them down.
Chicken and Spinach Flautas
– 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, if you want a low-fat option)
– 16 oz beer
– 2 c water
– 1 tsp paprika
– 1 tsp kosher salt
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 1 jalapeno, finely minced
– 3 c baby spinach, chopped
– 5 burrito-sized flour tortillas (or whatever size you have on hand)
– 8 oz shredded cheese of choice (I use Monterey Jack)
– Cooking spray (or oil)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Put chicken, beer, and water in high-sided pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from liquid and shred*. Add all seasonings to chicken and mix well.
Discard all but 1/4 cup of the chicken liquid from the pan. Add your minced jalapeno and spinach, and cook on low heat until spinach is wilted.
Assemble flautas. If you are using burrito-size tortillas, cut them in half; otherwise, leave them whole. Put chicken, spinach, and cheese along the edge of the tortilla, and roll them up. Place them seam side down on an oiled baking sheet. (The amount of chicken you want in your flauta will determine how many you get. We like ours full, so we get less.)
Spray cooking spray over the rolled tortillas (extra points if you use a cool oil sprayer and not Pam). Bake for 10 minutes. Flip them and bake for 10 minutes more, if needed (mine are usually crispy after the first 10 minutes.)
Serve with your favorite salsa and too much guacamole. Proceed to roll yourself out the door afterwards.
* Healthy Delicious listed a tip that changed my chicken-shredding life: If you have a stand mixer, you can drop the chicken straight in and use the paddle-attachment on low to shred the chicken. I found this is easier to do with the thighs than the breasts, but it is AMAZING. I hate shredding meat by hand. Don’t beat it to long, or the chicken will get crumbly and weird.