My goal: to convince you that making these toothsome little tacos is no more difficult than going to the store, buying a box of frozen, and pre-heating the oven. If I could just make you believe that all you need to do is make the chicken filling in advance, leaving the rolling and frying for right before dinner time, then maybe, just maybe, you’d fry up about 40 of these babies and feed them to your family. Or an army. Or maybe feeding your family is like feeding an army. Or maybe you just appreciate leftovers. (Believe me, even re-heated in the microwave these beat the heck out of fast-food fare.)
Serve these with all the traditional condiments and maybe a mess of pinto beans and/or mexican rice. Don’t forget the salsa. Mango, maybe? A side of roasted corn with a chile-queso fresco spread and a light dessert and beverage, and you have a perfect menu for a large group of people.
Makes 36–48 taquitos
these can be frozen just after rolling and fried while still frozen.
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1 medium jalapeno, chooped–seeds and membranes removed
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1 (16 oz) jar salsa verde– Herdez brand is my preference
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Colby Jack Cheese
36–48 small corn tortillas (depends on how much filling you like in each taquito)
Vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, spices, garlic, green onion, and jalapeno. Add the cilantro, salsa verde. Stir well. Gradually add the cheese, sprinkling it over the mixture while stirring to keep it from forming clumps in the mixture. Set aside.
Heat a pan with 2–3 inches vegetable oil to 350–375 degrees F.
Meanwhile, heat a saute pan to medium high. You will use this pan to soften the corn tortillas.
When oil is heated, roll and cook the taquitos assembly-line style:
1. place a tortilla in the hot saute pan (dry)** and let heat 5–10 seconds, then flip. Heat 5–10 more seconds, then remove to a flat surface.
2.Add another tortilla to the pan.
3. Place about 3 tablespoons full of chicken filling in a line just south of the middle on the tortillia.
4. Flip tortillia in saute pan.
5. Roll and secure filled tortilla with a toothpick inserted horizontally into the loose edge of taquito. Like taking a stitch. Work carefully so you don’t tear the tortilla. I like to insert the toothpick like this because it holds the tortilla closed and takes up less room in the pan. Just don’t forget to remove it before serving.
6. Place taquito in hot oil.
7. Remove softened tortilla from saute pan.
Repeat steps 2–7 as many times as needed, pulling the taquitos out of the oil as needed and placing in a warm oven on a cookie sheet lined with a stack of paper towels to allow taquitos to drain.
Serve immediately with desired condiments: sour cream or crema, pico, guacamole, limes, crumbled queso fresco, etc.
**the dry saute pan to soften the tortillas works well for me, just make sure your tortillas are pretty fresh. If you have problems, you can soften them in a tiny bit of hot oil in the same pan. I just find it messier and actually harder to roll.**