Crispy flour tortillas stuffed with spicy chicken and cheese.
|2 lbs.||Cooked Chicken, 3 packed cups shredded|
|8||Green Onions, one bunch|
|1/4 cup||Cilantro, snipped|
|1||Red Bell Pepper|
|2 Tbsps.||Olive Oil|
|1/2 tsp.||Salt, or to taste|
|1/2 tsp.||Pepper, or to taste|
|1/2 tsp.||Cumin, or to taste|
|1/4 tsp.||Cajun Seasoning, or to taste, *see Note|
|8 ozs.||Cheddar Cheese, 2 cups shredded|
|8 ozs.||Monterey Jack Cheese, 2 cups shredded|
|1/2 cup||Butter, 1 stick|
|8 10 inch||Flour Tortillas, burrito sized|
If necessary, cook the Chicken and set aside to cool, then shred. Slice the Green Onions and snip the Cilantro, setting both aside.
Dice the Onion and the Red Bell Pepper and sauté in the Olive Oil until it gets very tender and starts to darken. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chicken, green onions and cilantro. Season to taste with Salt, Pepper, Cumin and Cajun Seasonings. Turn off the heat once all is warm.
Eight quesadillas are a lot and you may not want to make all of them at once. Rather than cut the recipe, know that at this point some or all of this mixture can be refrigerated for up to a week. Doing so is better than making the quesadillas and refrigerating some of them as they will lose their crispiness. Warm any refrigerated mixture before preparing the quesadillas.
I use a panini press/grill/griddle to make the quesadillas. I like using the griddle side of the plates but if you like grill striation marks on yours rather than a uniform crisping, either side will work. If there is a griddle setting separate from a grill setting, use the grill setting and preheat it to high. Meanwhile, if necessary, shred equal amounts of the Cheddar Cheese and Monterey Jack Cheese proportional to the number of quesadillas you intend to prepare and toss to combine, then set aside. Also melt 1 Tablespoon of Butter per quesadilla you intend to make and set aside.
Brush 1/2 of one side of a Flour Tortilla with butter. Open the preheated panini press and lay the buttered half side of the tortilla onto the bottom, leaving the top unbuttered half leaning against the top of the opened panini press. Quickly spread 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture on the buttered half, cover with 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture, then cover that with another 1/4 cup of the cheese. Bring the part of the tortilla leaning against the top grill down to cover over all. Brush it with butter and close the panini press. Cook 3&1/2 to 4 minutes or until crispy browned and the cheese has melted. Slice into wedges and serve or keep warm until all are prepared, then slice and serve with guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa.
*I wanted to use taco or fajita seasonings, but the only such I could find were the packages meant for seasoning raw meat before grilling, which you could do if you start with raw chicken. But I usually use the breasts from a Rotisserie Chicken when I pick one up for convenience. I did find Cajun seasonings as a spice which was too hot to use in nearly the quantity of one of those taco or fajita seasoning packages.
As much as I love quesadillas, I've never had any luck flipping them on a griddle, either whole or folded in half. I've tried oven methods, but they didn't get that crispy browned texture I like. I even tried using the griddle and placing the bottom of a preheated cast iron skillet on top, but that didn't get the top done the same as the bottom before the skillet lost its heat. I tried a filled skillet to slow its cooling but the weight kind of squeezed the filling out of the tortillas. When the quesadilla maker fad hit I bought one of those, but it didn't seem to allow for much more than a scant amount of filling, resulting in what was closer to a flavored crisp tortilla than one stuffed with gooey cheesy goodness.
Hence no recipe for quesadillas on this web site until now, after I got one of those panini press/griddle/grill gadgets and all my quesadilla woes were gone. So this recipe's directions assume you are using one of those, but if you have another method of making quesadillas that works for you, I don't see why this recipe wouldn't work with that method.
Nutritional Facts do not take into account any Guacamole, Sour Cream or Salsa.
Source: My experimentation and failed attempts over the years.
Total Time: 1:30
Yield: 24 wedges
Nutrition Facts per Serving:
29g Fat (49.1% calories from fat)
2g Dietary Fiber
Exchanges per Serving:
4 1/2 Lean Meat
0 Other Carbohydrates.
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