BAKED CHICKEN AND SPINACH FLAUTAS

•I’ve been wanting to make these for a while.  Chicken enchiladas and fajitas are something I can make in my sleep, but have never made a fluata.  What is a flaunta?  Traditionally it’s a flour tortilla stuffed with meat and cheese and fried in oil.  I tried to make mine a little healthier by adding some spinach and baking them in the oven.  I also made them a little saucier inside with a homemade enchilada sauce that is so good!  The results are a crispy tortilla filled with shredded chicken, spinach, melted cheese and a flavorful sauce.  Perfect with any or all of the following-pico de gallo, salsa verde, guacamole, and avocado cream.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com
 
 
2 chicken breasts- slice or pound if uneven thickness
1/2 large white onion-dice 1/4 of the onion (for the sauce) and leave the other 1/4 intact (for poaching the chicken)
4 garlic cloves-mince 2 (for the sauce) and leave 2 whole (for poaching the chicken)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbls hot sauce-I used Franks
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup water
2 tbls vegetable oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tbls flour
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tbls lime juice-approx 1/2 lime
8 fajita sized flour tortillas-make sure they are room temp
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
cooking spray
 
serves 2 starving people or 4 with sides, like refried beans and brown rice
prep and baking time-1 hour
425°

 

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add the chicken breasts, (I cut mine into evenly thick pieces so they would cook evenly) the 1/4 of the onion, 2 garlic cloves, hot sauce, the salt and pepper.  Pour in the chicken stock and enough water to cover everything.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until chicken is cooked through-about 10 min.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Pull out the chicken, let cool a bit and shred with a couple forks.  Set aside.  Reserve 1 cup of the chicken cooking liquid, discard the remaining liquid and the poached onion and garlic.  Wipe pot dry with a paper towel.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Starting the sauce-

In the same pot, add oil, diced onion, minced garlic, and a pinch each of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook over med heat until onions are translucent.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Sprinkle in the smoked paprika,

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

chili powder

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

and cumin.  Cook just a min to heat up the flavors.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Sprinkle in the flour and cook another min, making sure to stir around.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Remember that reserved poaching liquid-give it a quick whisk and pour half into the pot to create sauce.  Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, making sure scrape the bottom of the pot to get all of the flavor.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup liquid.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Drop in the spinach and cook until wilted- about 3 min.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Squeeze in the lime juice.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Assembling-

Preheat oven to 425°  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Spray liberally with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Spread out the tortillas on your work surface.  Add 1/8 of the shredded chicken at the edge closest to you.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Followed by 1/8 of the cheese

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

and 1/8 of the spinach sauce.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Roll the tortillas tightly and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Spray liberally with cooking spray and pop into the oven.  At this stage, can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours and cook later. Make sure they are cooled in the fridge for a couple hours before covering with plastic or foil. 

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Bake for 10 min.  Remove from oven, turn flautas over and bake on the other side for another 8-10 min until both sides are crispy and the filling is melty and hot.

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

Can be cooled and individually wrapped and frozen for another time.  Serve with pico de gallo and avocado cream♥Enjoy

 Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas SmittenFoodie.com

 

 

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