Easy Chicken Quesadillas

We eat quesadillas about once every two weeks, and I can almost make them in my sleep. They’re relatively easy to make, and – this is always a bonus – all of my kids (the ones with teeth) will happily eat them. I can’t say that about every dish.

Easy Chicken Quesadillas - The Sweet Road

Instructions (scroll down to see the full printable recipe):

1.  Heat oil in a pan (large sauté pan is best). Add onion and cook until slightly softened. Add garlic, spices, and chicken. Add tomato sauce and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

2. Remove chicken pieces from the sauce and pull apart, using two forks or a fork and knife. Return pulled chicken to sauce. It will look like this:

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3. Simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens, and looks like this (you can see the pan bottom):

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4. Then it’s time to make the quesadillas! Pre-heat a non-stick skillet or a grill pan until medium-hot. Spoon some chicken onto a tortilla, then sprinkle on some cheese or lay down some slices of cheese. This one is going to be a chicken-and-gouda quesadilla:

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This one will be chicken-and-cheddar:

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5. Fold the tortilla in half, and toast in the pan for about 2 – 4 minutes on each side, or until both sides are lightly golden brown.

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6. Cut each quesadilla in half, if desired:

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7. Serve with limes, corn, salsa, sour cream…whatever floats your boat!

Limes - The Sweet Road

Easy Chicken Quesadillas - The Sweet Road

Easy Chicken Quesadillas
Author: 
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
 
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated‘s recipe for Beef Tacos. What I like about the recipe is that you don't have to follow it precisely, and you don't need all of the ingredients listed. For me, in a pinch, the top five ingredients that I absolutely have to have on hand to make these are chicken, tomato puree, chili powder, tortillas, and cheese. The rest of the ingredients nicely round out the sauce, but if you don't have a particular ingredient, don't worry about it - the quesadillas will still turn out tasty.
Ingredients
Chicken filling:
  • - 2 teaspoons oil
  • - 1 small onion, chopped fine OR chopped in half and left in large rings, to be picked out later
  • - 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • - 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • - 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • - 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • - ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • - ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • - Salt
  • - 1 pound chicken breasts (about 3 large breasts), each one cut up into 2 or 3 large chunks
  • - 14 oz. of tomato puree or plain tomato sauce
  • - ½ cup of chicken broth (I buy boxes of chicken broth, and for this recipe I just squirt a couple of splashes of broth into the pan)
  • - 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • - 2 teaspoons vinegar (preferably cider vinegar)
  • - Ground black pepper
Tortillas and Suggested Toppings/ Sides:
  • - 8 flour tortillas
  • - Cheddar cheese, shredded or sliced
  • - Gouda cheese, sliced
  • - Monterey Jack cheese
  • - Limes
  • - Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • - Diced jalapeños
  • - Sweet corn
  • - Salsa
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a pan (large sauté pan is best). Add onion and cook until slightly softened. Add garlic, spices, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Add chicken, then add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, vinegar, and black pepper. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes, covered, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove chicken pieces from the sauce and pull apart, using two forks or a fork and knife. Return pulled chicken to sauce. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces and thickens, and you can see the pan bottom.
  4. Then make the quesadillas. Pre-heat a non-stick skillet, electric grill, or a grill pan until medium-hot. Spoon some chicken onto a tortilla, then sprinkle on some cheese or lay down some slices of cheese.
  5. Fold the tortilla in half, and toast on the skillet, grill, or grill pan for about 2 – 4 minutes on each side, or until both sides are lightly golden brown.
  6. Serve with limes, corn, salsa, sour cream.

 

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