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Smoked Chicken Flautas Ahogadas

Updated: Apr 28

Authored by Mike Sheeran. Mike's BBQ Distro Box Members, an avid griller, and graduate of Joe Zavala's Brisket Class! Follow Mike's mouth watering cooks @bigmiketx_cooks


  • Whole Chicken

  • Zavala's Bird Rub

  • Corn Tortillas

  • Frying Oil

  • Olive Oil

  • Tomatillos

  • Jalapeño

  • Serrano Peppers

  • White Onion

  • Cilantro

  • Knorr Caldo de Pollo

  • Crema

  • Cabbage

  • Queso Fresco

The Cook!

One of my favorite things to do is try new things and if I like them, I like to create my own version of the dish. There’s a food stand close to where I work that serves “taquitos in a cup” which is essentially the street food version of this. I got to thinking about making a BBQ version of it and here’s what I did.

Let’s start with the chicken. When I smoke chicken, I always spatchcock it. It cooks more evenly, you’re able to apply more seasoning, and it cooks much faster. To spatchcock a chicken, you remove the spine either with kitchen shears or a knife and press flat.

I also like to remove the breastbone, but you can also just push down hard and the chicken will lay flat. Season liberally with Zavala Bird Rub (Stanley’s Pitmaster Spike would also be awesome here) starting on the underside and flip to season the skin side. I like to cook chicken hotter so fire up your smoker and get it to 325-350. Place the chicken on the smoker and let it ride till the breast reaches 165 and the thigh 175. When you start to get close to being done, spray the skin with fat (I like duck fat) to get the skin extra crispy. Let the chicken rest for at 30 minutes and shred. Add a bit more seasoning to the shredded chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, we also need to get our sauce started. For this sauce, we need 4 tomatillos, 1 serrano, 2 jalapeños, 1/4 a white onion, 2 cloves of garlic smashed, cilantro, Knorr Caldo de Pollo, and olive oil. Remove the husks off the tomatillos and rinse the outside of it off. Dry them and cut them in half. Place the tomatillos, peppers, and onion in the smoker and cook for 20 minutes or till they get some color on them. Blend them up with all the other ingredients above and put in a sauce pan with some oil spred on the bottom to simmer and thicken up. Keep warm till we’re ready to serve.

Now that we have the chicken shredded it’s time to roll these babies up. First let’s get our oil ready to go. In a pan or skillet, heat a half inch of oil and bring up to a frying temp. Now it’s time to roll up our flautas. We need to first warm up the tortillas. With a comal or skillet, spray the tortilla with a little oil and warm it till it’s more pliable. If you skip this step, you’re going to have a bad time. Place some chicken on the warmed tortilla and roll. Place seam side down in your oil and hold it down with your tongs for a few seconds. Fry till the bottom is crispy and flip. Continue to fry till the bottom is crispy. Let drain on a paper towel. Rinse and repeat till you have fried all your flautas.

It's time to plate this up and you have options here. If you want to use an actual plate, spoon some sauce to cover the bottom of the plate. Place the flautas on the plate and spoon some more sauce on top. Drizzle with crema and sprinkle queso fresco on top. For some extra crunch, shredded cabbage is a nice addition (I used Nappa). You could also add some chopped cilantro as well. If you want to serve in a cup, fill it half way up with the sauce. Place the flautas in a 12-16 oz cup or a pint deli container and drizzle some crema on the sauce and on the flautas. Sprinkle queso fresco in the sauce and add some shredded cabbage. If you prefer cotija cheese, you can absolutely use that instead. Melty Oaxaca cheese would also be pretty awesome. Also lettuce instead of cabbage is a popular choice. Some additional garnishes that would be great are pickled red onion, radish, sliced avocado, and/or pickled/fresh jalapeño slices.


Some recommended seasoning from the shop to add to Mike's recipe...


How to spatchcock a chicken? See Joe & CJ do this in Zavala's Backyard!

Products in the video!

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