Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
My family could survive on Mexican food alone. And I’m talking any incarnation or Americanized version — street tacos, fajitas, queso, enchiladas, nachos, you name it. For a quick fix at home, these baked chicken taquitos are a new gold standard around here. They tend to disappear off the cooling rack, so now I make a double recipe and freeze single servings for after-school snacks or last-minute dinners. Once they cool, portion them out into servings that work for you and put them in freezer bags. Complete no-brainer.
Rotisserie Chicken Filling
I also use this filling for my green enchiladas. I’ve adapted it from the memory of eating something similar with my college roommate at her parent’s home many moons ago. The combination of green chiles and a round, creamy sauce is such a win-win. And here, it’s so easy to accomplish with cream cheese, jarred green salsa (I use Trader Joe’s brand) and some shredded chicken. You can make it even easier on yourself by shredding a rotisserie chicken. It will take you five minutes to mix up the filling and just a few more to fill and roll the tortillas. But, totally worth it when warm taquitos hit the table (that is, if they didn’t disappear).
One tip: If your tortillas are dry or stiff, they will tear when you roll them. I like to use soft, store made flour tortillas from Central Market or H-E-B or thin grain-free and gluten-free Siete Foods tortillas. If you find that the tortilla is tearing when you try to fill it, sprinkle a little water on them and microwave for 10-15 seconds. Fill immediately before the tortillas have a chance to cool. Then place them seam side down on your baking sheet. A small amount of filling goes a long way, you want to make sure the tortilla can wrap around the filling without it oozing out of the taquito in the oven.
Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Yield 12 taquitos
To make this qualify for a "Meatless Monday" dinner, fill the tortillas with refried pinto beans, cheese and chilies. To make it gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free tortillas. Resist the temptation to buy pre-shredded cheese that's coated with anti-caking powder -- grating your own cheese is the way to go. For the shredded chicken, use a whole chicken cooked in a Crock Pot, a rotisserie chicken or a poached whole chicken breast. Serve with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- ½ block cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded jack cheese
- 1 cup mild green salsa (such as Herdez or Trader Joe's)
- 4 oz can mild green chiles
- 3 green onions, white and green parts sliced thin
- 1 cup cilantro leaves (if you don't like cilantro, leave it out)
- 12 corn or flour tortillas (soft tortillas work best)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together the shredded chicken, cream cheese, jack cheese, green salsa, chiles, green onions and cilantro.
- Fill each tortilla with 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Spread the mixture in a line close to one edge of the tortilla and tightly roll the tortilla into a taquito.
- Place the taquito seam side down on a baking sheet. Brush the taquito with oil (I like to use organic avocado oil, but extra virgin olive oil works also). The oil gives the taquitos a crispy exterior when they roast in the oven
- Bake for 20 minutes until slightly brown and crispy on the edges. Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.