We didn’t go to Costco all of the time growing up but when we did there were staples we bought every visit, almost without fail including: giant soft pretzels, the family pack of Hot Pockets, the big bags of spinach and mozzeralla ravioli, the giant blueberry muffins and last but not least chicken and cheese flautas.
For those flautas you could bake or microwave them and regardless they were amazing. At the time I had a preference for microwaving them but overtime I grew fond of baking things in the oven. You have to love the crunch factor involved.
But on a recent borrowed-Costco-card run I went searching for these flautas and had a small internal fit in the aisle they were now being made with corn. You should know: I don’t like corn. Not from a can, not on the cob, not in my chili, no where. I’m aware it’s healthy for you, I’m aware I obviously love corn meal in my cornbread, but what nutrients I lack from corn I make up in other dishes. In other words, I can eat it, but when given a choice I choose not to. I know my foodie card could be revoked but I strive for honesty. I went home somewhat heartbroken about these developments and then I had a thought: Can I make flautas? A few minutes of Google and far too in-depth research on the difference between a taquito and a flauta (there really doesn’t seem to be much of a difference except in tortilla choice and size apparently) I soon realized yes, I could indeed make my own flautas with anything I wanted.
The big skepticism I had when I started figuring out how to make these was the deep frying part. Despite my love for all things salt, sugar, chocolate and carbs I try not to deep fry ever. Baked is always the way for me as I know if I tried frying something there would be oil all over the kitchen and I’d probably get burned. So until I gain a bit more experience (courage?) I don’t deep fry. That and I like to think I’m making a healthy decision (unless I’m craving fried chicken; but that’s for a future post). Since we’d always heat the flautas up in the oven, I decided I would stick with this method. And it was good y’all, really, really, really good.
These flautas are stuffed with chicken (courtesy of one of the two rotisserie chickens I bought on my Costco run), cilantro, minced garlic, jalapenos and buffalo cheese (a new Costco staple for me). There’s very little prep time involved and I was actually able to make a nice sized batch (enough to eat for a meal and many, many extras for the freezer).
CHICKEN AND CHEESE FLAUTAS
YIELDS: 20-25 flautas
1 bag of medium sized tortillas
1 rotisserie chicken
1 c chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped jalapenos (adjust to your heat preference)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 c shredded cheese (I used Yancey’s Fancy buffalo wing cheddar cheese (highly recommend))
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut and shred your chicken and place into medium sized bowl.
3. If not done already chop your cilantro and jalapenos. Jalapenos should be added and adjusted according to your spice level handling. Cut pre-sliced jalapenos in half.
4. Add chopped cilantro and jalapenos to chicken along with minced garlic, parkia, cumin and black pepper. Stir together until seasonings are well mixed in.
5. Shred your cheese.
6. Using a 9×12 baking pan, line it with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray (I used olive oil cooking spray). This is key to keeping the bottoms of the tortilla closed up).
7. Begin assembling flautas spooning chicken mixture onto tortillas and rolling them tightly. When placing into pan make sure the tortilla flap is touching the parchment paper (this way it will bake and keep closed).
8. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray (this is key to the crunch factor).
8. Once assembled into the pan, place in oven for 20 minutes or until tortilla edges start to turn brown.