Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos (Flautas)

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup Chipotle Ranch Dressing (see recipe below)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Large handful of cilantro, chopped
4 chicken breasts, shredded
2 cups shredded cheese (I used half cheddar, half monterrey jack)
2 dozen 6-inch corn or flour tortillas (or ~4 dozen 5-inch tortillas)
Guacamole, for serving (optional)
Sour cream, for serving (optional)

For the dressing:
3/4 cup mayo (low fat is fine)
3/4 cup sour cream (low fat is fine, I replace half or all with fat-free Greek yogurt)
2-3 chipotle peppers (rehydrated in hot water)
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 small bunch of chives
Small handful of cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat (if not preparing for the freezer). Mix together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, chili powder, cumin, onion, garlic, and cilantro until uniform (a mixer makes this easier but can be done by hand). Fold in the chicken and shredded cheese until well coated. Spoon ~3 Tbsp of filling into a line across the lower 1/3 each tortilla.

If using corn tortillas, work with 3 at a time, microwaving for 15-20 seconds on a plastic wrapped plate before filling and rolling. Roll each tortilla up tightly and place seam-side down on the pan.

To freeze, stop here. Place the pan(s) into the freezer and freeze solid, ~2 hours, and then transfer to a large ziptop bag.

Bake 15-20 minutes (~25 if frozen), until crispy (and lightly browned, if using flour tortillas). Serve with additional chipotle ranch, guacamole, and sour cream if desired.

Yields: 2-4 dozen, depending on tortilla size

For the dressing:
To make the dressing, place all dressing ingredients except the buttermilk in a blender. Blend for 10 seconds. Check consistency and blend in buttermilk if desired (less buttermilk for dipping, more for dressing). Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge for a week or more.

Adapted from