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



pico de gallo

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!

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