Crispy Chicken Tacos
I'm insanely excited to be adding another dish to the Mexican rotation. These crispy chicken tacos, often referred to as flautas or taquitos, are sooooo good! Seriously, no one spoke during dinner--except to ask if there were more. Foolishly, knowing my crew, I didn't double the recipe. Next time for sure. The tacos can be left whole to serve as a main dish, or cut them in half to use as an appetizer. Either way, I'm there.
I never would have imagined feta cheese would go so well with the pico de gallo and sour cream. Now I know. I could have eaten the three, mixed together, with a spoon. And, speaking of pico de gallo, I will take it over salsa any day of the week. There is just something about that fresh, chunky, cilantro-y, non-liquidy mixture that I adore as a garnish or loaded on tortilla chips. It takes me back to a little Mexican restaurant in downtown Concord, New Hampshire that served chips with pico de gallo. Someday, I'll make it back there! I do leave out the jalapeno because of my little guy. The big guys just add hot sauce on top.
You can use whatever kind of chicken you'd like...Perhaps you have some leftover you need to get used up. Rotisserie or precooked and packaged would work as well. I poached two boneless chicken breasts in chicken stock, then shredded it. No matter what you use, make sure it is seasoned with salt and pepper before rolling it up in the tortilla. Beef can be used too!
I would imagine these can be baked as well but they won't be as crunchy. I make a baked creamy chicken taquito in which I use corn tortillas with some oil brushed over the tortilla before baking. I like the simplicity of the filling and the crunchy texture for this dish, though.
Crispy Chicken Tacos
For the tacos:
- 3 cups (375 g) cooked, shredded chicken
- salt and pepper, taste
- 8 corn tortillas
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the pico de gallo:
- 1 cup (240 mL) finely diced tomato
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) finely diced white onion (I add more, we are onion people!)
- 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) chopped fresh cilantro, or more, to taste
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (add seeds for more heat)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- juice of half a lime
- sour cream
- pico de gallo
- crumbled Feta cheese
- shredded lettuce
To make fresh pico de gallo, combine the tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and squirt in the lime juice. Stir until well combined; set aside.
In a medium, shallow skillet, heat enough vegetable oil, over medium high heat, to coat the bottom and come a little up the sides. Shred and season your chicken, if needed. Place about 2 tablespoons of meat down the center of the tortilla (microwave the tortillas for a few seconds, if needed, to make them pliable). Roll up the tortilla, like a cigar, and secure with a toothpick.
Fry a few tortillas at a time, turning, until all sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes total (I had to remove the toothpick in order to fry them properly. I used tongs to keep the tortilla closed.). Remove the tortillas from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Remove the toothpicks. Add more oil as needed to fry all the tortillas.
Serve the tacos whole or cut them in half. Top with sour cream, pico de gallo, and feta cheese. Serve on a bed of lettuce.