Monday, August 10, 2009

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas

Confession: I LOVE Mexican food. I could probably eat it every single day (sometimes I do) and have been known to take down an entire jar of salsa in one sitting. This love is also shared by my boyfriend, Steve, and so when deciding what to grill one night, he suggested quesadillas.

At first I thought that sounded a little tricky, I have enough trouble keeping the cheese inside the tortilla when I'm busting
quesadillas out on my George Foreman. But then I thought of spicy grilled chicken sandwiched between two charred crispy corn tortillas smothered with smokey cheese, and I was in.

This is a great weeknight dinner, it came together pretty quickly with just a one-hour marinade for the chicken. We grilled the chicken with some onions and bell peppers first, then assembled the
quesadillas and threw them back onto the grill. The combinations are endless, but whatever you put inside, it beats any quesadilla made in the oven or on your Foreman any day.

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas
(makes 4-6 medium sized
quesadillas depending on how much filling you use)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2-3 Tablespoons
adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo, reserve the rest for later use, or freeze)
juice of one lime

2-3 cloves garlic - minced
handful of
cilantro - chopped
salt and pepper
Olive oil (just enough to thin out sauce enough to coat chicken, probably 1/4 cup or less)

8-12 Corn tortillas
Cheese (I used one package of
Mexican blend shredded cheese, because that is what was on sale)
Cilantro Leaves (about 1/2 cup)
Bell Pepper
Red Onion
Olive oil (to brush the tortillas with)

Put chicken breasts and marinade ingredients into
ziploc bag and mush it around to coat. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour while you prep the rest of the meal.

Pre-heat your grill for medium-high direct heat.

Chop the bell pepper in half or quarters and the onion into thick rings. If you keep the pieces big enough you can put them directly on the grill. If you have a veggie basket, feel free to chop the veggies smaller. Toss with
olive oil and salt and pepper.

Grill the chicken for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts) until no longer pink in the center. When the chicken is just about done, throw the veggies on over direct heat until cooked through. Remove from grill and put the cover back on the grill.

Let the chicken and veggies cool just enough to handle, then slice them thin. Assemble the quesadillas with cheese, chicken, cilantro leave, and veggies (and whatever else you feel like throwing on there).

I try to make sure my first and last layers are both cheese, so that it melts and traps all the meats and veggies inside. the tortillas, reducing your chances of spillage.

Once your quesadillas are assembled, brush the top tortilla with olive oil. This will help it to not stick to the grill, and also help it crisp up very nicely.

Take the assembled
quesadillas out to the grill, and, moving quickly and gently, flip your quesadillas onto the grill using two hands so that the oiled side is down. The faster you go, the less time the fillings have to fly out. It has something to do with gravity I'm sure but let's not get into that here. Brush the tops with olive oil, and after 2-3 minutes flip the quesadillas over using a large spatula, again do this quickly. The cheese should now be metled so they should be a bit more cohesive and easier to manuver.

When the bottom is crisped up and the cheese is fully melted take them off the grill and let them rest for a minute or two to let the cheese cool a bit.

Cut into quarters and serve with salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, and any other fixings you see fit.


a-man-duh said...

These look outstanding!

Nicole said...

Looks crunchy and goooooey and of course delish!

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