Your favorite Mexican restaurant appetizer is so much easier to make at home than you'd think. The key to tasty flautas is using homemade ranchero sauce or a good store-bought version. Rachero sauce is made from fresh tomatoes, green and red peppers, onions and herbs and spices like paprika, cumin, oregano and marjoram.This recipe is from Ole’ Ole’ Mexican Grill and Cantina in Plantation, Florida, and was originally published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
A three-flauta dinner for one, please. These crispy chicken flautas will require some at-home frying skill, but nothing too difficult for frying newbies. Just be sure to choose the right oil and watch for splashes.
It was more than a decade ago that I fell in love with the flautas at Chico's Tacos in El Paso, Texas. That visit started a craving that was finally, finally sated, in New York City no less. Chico's Tacos were brought back from Texas, special delivery, packaged in Tupperware that was more expensive than the actual tacos, frozen until I could get to them, and finally reconstituted (Thanks, Mom).
Eating Chico's Tacos once again did two things. First, it made the need to be able to eat them more consistently a necessity. Second, tasting the original rendition reestablished the flavor profile required to be able to do that. Crispy fried taquitos, covered in thinly shredded cheese, and drenched in red watery sauce — dripping, crunchy, melted cheese-drink-the-sauce flautas goodness.
Creating a recipe for a renowned dish is tricky. You can theorize, you can do trial and error, or you can do what was done here: Look to see what's out there already. There's no official site for Chico's Tacos and, as far as anyone can seem to tell, no officlal recipe out there for how to best make these signature tacos.
The two most prominent recipes out there are by The Stanton Magazine and Mexican American Border Cooking. They provide some really insightful guidance on different possible approaches to a successful dish. This recipe uses a home fryer and fresh ingredients for all components for a rendition that looks and tastes pretty close to the original. Oh, and don't forget the toothpicks. You need them to keep the taquitos closed when frying them. (If anyone knows a better way, please chime in.)