Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spicy Chicken and Caramelized Onion Flautas with Monterey Jack Cheese

Do you know what happens when you start cooking homemade and from scratch?  Well, a couple things.
  • You discover that cooking is fun. 
  • You discover that often you can make homemade better-tasting than pre-made or eating out. 
  • You find that when you do eat out, it isn't nearly as good as what you could have made at home.
  • You discover that your own cooking style kinda becomes your standard.  It happens.
Case in point:  these flautas.  Now, there is a bit of a discrepency about the name:  they are more like faux-flautas, since they are open ended.  Yet, they're not taquitos since they are made with flour tortillas instead of corn.  Technicalities, schmecnicalites....

Back to my point.  These are amazing.  Delicious.  Perhaps, even better than your favorite Mexican restaurant.  I know.  Bold statement.  But these wowed us.  While El Hub and I were settling our full stomachs by doing the aftermath dishes, he predicted that at that moment, I couldn't wait to make these again.  He knows me so well!  These are definitely making it into the my dinner rotation on a regular basis!

Spicy Chicken and Caramelized Onion Flautas with Monterey Jack Cheese
Inspired by and adapted from For the Love of Cooking

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed, trimmed, and diced
3 onions, sliced into rings
2 garlic cloves, pressed
olive oil for sauteeing
1 tbl. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 flour tortillas
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, pour olive oil to cover most of the bottom of the pan.  Heat over medium heat; add diced chicken and cook until no longer pink, but not until dry.  While there is still liquid from the chicken in the skillet, add chili powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, coriander, cilantro, and cayenne.  Stir gently to coat chicken and incorporate the spices.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Continue cooking over medium heat until the majority of the liquid has evaporated.  Check the doneness of the chicken; it should be cooked through, yet still tender.

At the same time in another skillet or large sauce pan, drizzle it with olive oil to cover the bottom.  Add the sliced onion rings and cook over medium-low heat until onions become tender and slightly browned, 10-15 minutes, stirring often to keep from sticking to the bottom and burning.  Once onions are soft and caramel-colored, add the pressed garlic, stir to incorporate, 30 seconds, and off the heat. 

In between 2 sheets of wax paper, microwave the flour tortillas for 30 seconds to soften them.

To assemble the flautas, spread Monterey Jack cheese down the middle of the tortilla.  Top with some of the caramelized onions, then finish off with some of the chicken (keep in mind that you are making 6, so divide your cheese, onions, and chicken accordingly).  Roll tightly and place flauta on prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Spray the top of each rolled tortilla with cooking spray.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Turn each tortilla, spray again, and bake for another 6-7 minutes, until cheese is melted and the edges of the tortillas are light golden and slightly crispy.

Serve with salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.

1 comment:

  1. Another recipe for me to try. :) Our kids will love this! They seem to devour anything in a tortilla. - Michele


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