The other night I was in the mood for one of my favorite Mexican foods, so I started browsing and came across a recipe on TheKitchn.com for homemade chicken flautas. I played around with it a little bit and made it my own and they turned out amazing! You can even play around with it some more and try different meats like pulled pork, steak, or ground beef.
I of course used coconut oil for frying because of how heat stable it is. This recipe will definitely be added to the regular rotation at my house. This recipe makes 18 flautas. I halved the recipe and it made more than enough for two of us.
Homemade Chicken Flautas
Coconut oil, for frying
2 tablespoons coconut oil (additional)
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I used this recipe)
1 teaspoon paprika (regular or smoked)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
24 corn tortillas, 6 to 7 inches in diameter (a few might tear when rolling)
2 cups crumbled queso fresco cheese
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Fill a Dutch oven or cast iron pot with a few inches of coconut oil and heat on medium-high until it reaches 375°F.
While the oil is heating, melt the additional 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until warmed through. Adjust any seasonings to personal taste (note: you want the flavors to be bold in the chicken mixture—i.e. spicy, smoky, salty— because they won’t be as strong once you add the cheese and tortilla.)
Heat a stack of three to four tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds to soften. Place two tablespoons of chicken mixture into the middle of the tortillas and sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco. Tightly roll each tortilla and secure with a toothpick(s). Using long tongs, carefully add each tortilla to the oil, gently clamping closed for a moment to help the shell set. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the temperature while frying. Cook the tortillas until very crisp and light golden in color, about 1-2 minutes. Shake off the excess oil back into the pot before placing the flauta on a paper-towel lined sheet pan.
Continue rolling and cooking the tortillas in batches, making sure to return the oil to 375° in between batches. Hold the cooked flautas in preheated oven to keep warm until finished frying.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole, plus your favorite salad for a complete meal.