Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chicken Quesadillas - Recipe

They are super simple, yummy, and a great way to use up left over chicken and veggies. (It's a great way to use up little bits of leftover meats and veggies in the fridge. I made one last night using leftover turkey, corn, and other veggies from Thanksgiving.)
For the record, traditional quesadillas are made using one tortilla folded in half, similar to an omelet,  but mine uses two whole tortillas to make one large round order that can be cut into fourths. I find this to be easier when serving this dish as an appetizer or a meal.

Chicken Quesadillas Recipe

 Ingredients: (For two round Quesadillas sliced into four pieces each, 8 total)
  • Chicken breast, about 2-3 "chicken fingers" worth (You can skip a step by using precooked, leftover, chicken or turkey)
  • Tablespoons of Taco seasoning  (I make use my own blend)
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Various Diced Veggies (If frozen, thaw before cooking)                        
                - Corn
                - Bell Peppers
                - Onion
  • 4 Large Tortillas (You can also use burrito wrappers or flatbread)
  • 1 Cup of shredded Cheese (I used 'Taco blend')
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  1. If your chicken is raw, dice it up into small pieces and add it to a non-stick pan. (Make sure they are all a similar size so they will cook at the same rate.) Turn the burner to medium-high heat and stir your chicken as needed. Continue until fully cooked (If your chicken has already been cooked, you can skip this step.) 
  2. Add your diced veggies and taco seasoning to the non-stick pan with your (now) cooked chicken. Stir over medium high heat until everything is combined and hot.
  3. Once everything has been combined, and seasoned to your liking, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. To cook this you can use a few different methods:
  • Oven method: Turn your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to preheat. Take a cookie sheet, pizza pan, or pizza stone, and use it as a platform to build your quesadillas. Start with one of your tortillas (or burrito wrappers), and add half the shredded cheese. Then add some of your seasoned chicken and veggie mixture. Spread the chicken mixture over the entire tortilla, top it with the remaining cheese, and the last tortilla/burrito wrapper. Repeat for your second set of tortillas/burrito wrappers. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and then remove from oven, flip the quesadilla over, and bake for another 8-10 minutes on the opposite side. Remove from the oven, and slice it into four pieces using a pizza cutter. This method is healthier, but less crispy. 
  • Stove-top Method: Take a large non-stick pan and add enough cooking oil to completely cover the bottom. Turn on the burner and warm the oil up over medium-high heat. (We are basically frying the tortilla to make it crispy.) Once the oil has become hot, add your first tortilla/burrito wrapper to the pan and sprinkle the first half of the shredded cheese mixture on top. While the cheese starts melting, add your seasoned chicken and veggie blend and spread it out over the entire tortilla/burrito. Top the mixture with the remaining cheese and tortilla/burrito wrapper. Use a fork or a spoon to press the edges of your tortilla together, the melted cheese on both layers will help seal the quesadillas shut. Check the bottom tortilla to make sure that it is browned and crispy, then use a large spatula to flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side. (This can take some practice.)  Once both sides are browned and crispy, remove from heat and slice into four pieces with a pizza cutter. Repeat the same steps for your second set of tortillas/burrito wrappers. (Add more cooking oil as needed.) 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or salsa and enjoy!
Just FYI: I used the stove top method for the one in the photos.The stove-top version gets much browner and crispier, but the oven method still produces a yummy quesadilla without any added oils.
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