Chicken Flautas in a Roasted Tomatillo Broth

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Several months ago, I had never eaten a flauta.  Come to think of it, I had never even heard of them. Taquito-- yes.  Flauta-- no.  But, after reading a restaurant review and seeing a picture of a bowl of them "drowned" in a tomatillo broth, I had to have them ASAP.  So, into the kitchen I went.

I started with the flauta which means flute in Spanish.  I knew that with a fried and crispy outside, I wanted a contrast of texture on the inside.  I choose shredded chicken, refried beans, and Chihuahua cheese-- a combination my whole family enjoys.  With the addition of sautéed onion and a little spice, it made for a flavorful and creamy bite.  For the broth, I used my roasted tomatillo salsa as a base and added jalapeños and chicken stock to make a broth with a little kick.   My husband claims he could drink shot glasses of the green magic liquid.  

The lovely part of this recipe is that both the flautas and the broth can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer; perfect for a busy weeknight.  You can also make this according to your own preferences.  You can use other meats or go vegetarian.  Remove or add more spices and heat from the peppers to taste.  All together now, "Make it for you, make it your own:)" When ready to serve, fry the flautas in a skillet with a little oil until crisp and golden.  Place the edible flutes in a shallow pool of the warmed broth, top with some avocado slices, pico de gallo, and sour cream-- WOW!  It's the flavor-- Es el sabor-- that will have you coming back for more.

Chicken Flautas in a Roasted Tomatillo Broth
makes 24 flautas and 4 cups of broth, serves 6-8

For the Broth
1 medium white onion, skin left on and halved
1 large poblano pepper
5 tomatillos, husked and washed
1-2 jalapeños (optional)
2 large garlic cloves, whole with skin left on
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or to taste
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups chicken broth

For the Flautas
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 15-ounce can refried beans
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Chihuahua cheese or Montery Jack
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 dozen yellow corn tortillas
Vegetable oil for frying

Mexican crema or sour cream

For the Broth
Preheat the broiler and position an oven rack in the highest position.  Place the halved onions cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet along with the poblano, tomatillos, jalapeños, and garlic.  Broil the vegetables, rotating as necessary until the skins have blistered and are slightly charred on all sides.  Keep a close eye on them as the onions and garlic will cook faster than the pepper and tomatillos.  Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow them to cool until they can easily be handled.  Remove the skin from the onion, trim the top and root end and roughly chop.  Peel the garlic and chop.  Rub the skins off the peppers, discard the stems and seeds and roughly chop.  Place the onions, garlic, peppers, and tomatillos in a food processor and pulse until blended, but still chunky.  Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt, and pulse until desired consistency.  Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and cook until warmed through. Season with salt and lime juice if needed. (Stored in an airtight container, the broth can be made up to three days in advance or frozen for up to one month).

For the Flautas
In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in the oil until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Transfer the onions to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.  Add the chicken, beans, cheese, and cumin to the onions; mixing until combined.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  
Over a medium gas flame on a cooking range, heat the tortilla on both sides until warmed. (Alternatively, the tortillas can be warmed in a microwave a few at a time).  Move the tortilla to a flat surface and place 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture down the middle of the tortilla.  Roll the tortilla around the filling and place seam side down on a baking sheet and lightly cover with a damp towel.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.  (Wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a ziploc bag, the filled tortillas can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to one month.  Thaw completely in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe).

Fill a medium skillet with 1/4-inch of oil and heat over a medium-high heat.  Carefully place a few flautas seam side down in the hot oil.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Using tongs, turn the flautas over and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until golden and crispy.  Transfer the flautas to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain.  Repeat with the remaining flautas.  Cooked flautas can be kept in a warm oven on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

To serve, ladle up to 1/2 cup of the tomatillo broth into a shallow bowl.  Place 2-3 flautas into the broth.  Top with avocado slices, pico de gallo, and sour cream.  Enjoy!

Source: The Galley Gourmet; inspired by a Taylor Mathis post  about the Screaming Goat in Austin, Texas


  1. I love flautas and this recipe looks so perfect I want to dive in and have it for breakfast!

  2. Oh this looks so so so good! There are so many of my favorite flavors and ingredients here. I can't wait to make this!

  3. YUM! I love flautas. These look delicious.

  4. These look so good! I'm sitting here, trying to decide what I'd like for lunch... and these are making me so hungry!

  5. Great! Another Mexican goodies. I love the avocado sitting on top of the roasted tomatillo.

  6. This dish looks absolutely delicious! I LOVE flautas but I only ever get them in restaurants...definitely something I need to try at home! :) Gorgeous photo too.

  7. Love the idea of the broth! Delicious looking dish!

  8. Hi Nicole, Your Chicken Flautas in a Roasted Tomatillo Broth recipe has been selected to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go here: http://knapkins.com/guess_games/91?source=blog Congrats again!! :)

  9. Your dish inspired me to make some chicken taquitos. I loved the combination of the ingredients for the filling! Yum!

    1. I am so pleased you enjoyed the filling.

  10. Terry AnnJune 24, 2012

    I just tried to pin this recipe and keep getting the message that I can not pin from this site. The recipe sounds wonderful and I wrote it down.


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