Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baked Chicken Taquitos

If there's anyone I doubt on a daily basis, it's the weather guy. Whenever I hear the day's weather report, I can't help but question how accurate he is. We are in Chicago after all, and as they say around here, if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes! The other night I heard the forecast for snow and cold temperatures but naturally, I didn't believe it. As soon as the temps dropped and the sunny skies slowly turned cloudy, followed by snow, I was screwed. I didn't risk going to the store so I had to make do with what few ingredients I had. Thankfully, dinner was a success... which was easy with these Baked Chicken Taquitos! A flavorful mix of spices and chicken are rolled into corn tortillas before baking up nice and crispy in the oven. Definitely better than the traditionally fried version, these are healthier for you and are great for a snack, appetizer or even a meal...


Corn tortillas are a staple in my kitchen, which is especially common if you are on a gluten free diet. I've probably tried my fair share of different ways to use corn tortillas - tacos, enchiladas, lasagnas, chips, etc - but one thing I haven't done was make taquitos, until now. I recall a wildly popular recipe for Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos, but settled to make this recipe from Whole Foods Market. I've been drawn to quite a few recipes on their site lately and have enjoyed ones I've made in the past. This one didn't disappoint either.

I always thought making taquitos were similar to tacos, only rolling them up like thin cigars. Apparently the key thing is to dip the corn tortillas in warm chicken broth so that they are much more pliable. Once dipped, they're filled with a flavorful chicken filling topped with cheese. After rolling, these tasty cigars are baked up instead of fried.

These are great to make ahead as well. To make ahead, prepare as directed and instead of baking after they've been rolled, place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until frozen before transferring to a freezer bag. When you're ready to serve them, preheat the oven to 425 and bake them from frozen on a baking sheet in a single layer for 20-25 minutes.
Baked Chicken Taquitos
recipe from Whole Foods Market


1 tablespoon olive oil, more for brushing tortillas
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro, finely minced
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works great)
2 cups low-sodium, chicken broth
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey jack, Colby or Cheddar cheese + more for serving

For serving:
sour cream
salsa/pico de gallo
guacamole

Preheat oven to 425F and oil a baking sheet.

In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onion and garlic, cooking until translucent. Add the cumin, paprika and salt, stirring to combine and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, until fragrant. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and chicken. Set aside.

Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a skillet or pot wide enough to hold tortillas. When broth comes to a simmer, remove from heat and carefully dip tortillas briefly, one at a time, just to soften, about 1 to 2 seconds. Lay the dipped tortilla on a work surface and spread 2 or 3 tablespoons chicken mixture over bottom third. Top with a tablespoon of cheese and roll up. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spray or brush tortillas lightly with oil and bake until crisp and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, salsa and/or guacamole and garnish with more cheese before serving.