Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Flautas Ahogadas (Crispy Flautas in Salsa)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
These crispy, rolled corn tortillas are filled with chicken and "drowned" in a warm salsa verde. It's a classic dish full of flavor and textures.

Flautas ahogadas literally translates to "drowned flautas." I will confess, crispy flautas or taquitos are one of my all-time favorite Mexican meals. Flauta is the Spanish word for "flute." In certain parts of Mexico, a special,extra-long corn tortilla is made especially for flautas. Flautas are also referred to as taquitos and tacos dorados, depending on the region.

These flute-shaped tacos are fried until golden-brown and deliciously crispy. After that, they're "drowned" in a freshly prepared salsa verde and then garnished with Mexican crema and crumbled cotija cheese. What's not to love about that? So when my husband requests flautas for dinner, I am more than happy to grant his request!


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For the Salsa
  1. To a pot of simmering water, add the tomatillos, serranos, garlic and onion. Cook for 7-10 minutes or just until tomatillos turn from bright green to to olive green.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer salsa ingredients to the blender. Add ½ cup of cooking water and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. If adding cilantro, wait until the salsa cools a bit and then add it. Blend for a few seconds and set aside.
For the Flautas
  1. Preheat a comal or griddle pan to medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Brush tortillas with oil on both sides and stack onto plate. Cook tortillas on hot comal for 5-7 seconds per side. Stack onto plate once again, keeping them covered with foil paper.
  2. Preheat 1½ cups of oil to medium heat in a large skillet for 5-6 minutes. Take two tortillas from stack and overlap them about 1½ inches. Fill with chicken (about 4 tablespoons' worth) down the center. Carefully roll as tight as you can to make a flute shape. Secure at the seam with toothpicks, one on each side.
  3. Fry in preheated oil, seam side down to start. Turn as needed. Once crispy and golden brown, remove from oil and stand up in a bowl lined with paper towels until you are done frying.
  4. While the flautas drain and cool slightly, warm the salsa verde in a saucepan for a few minutes. To plate, add two extra long flautas to a plate. Ladle on a generous amount of warm salsa. Garnish with crema and queso cotija.

Chef Notes

Brushing the tortillas with oil and cooking them on a hot comal for a few seconds helps to keep the tortillas from tearing when filling and rolling. To skip this method and simply steam the tortillas, wrap 6 tortillas in paper towels and cook on high for 1 minute in the microwave. If you have a good quality tortilla, there will be minimal tearing.

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