Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It's funny; I never heard of Cinco de Mayo until I became of legal drinking age.  Or maybe I'd just never paid attention?

This year, I actually remembered and planned my meal plan around having a Mexican meal today.  Of course, I forgot to get the stuff for margaritas, but I digress.  That's right I planned!!  Sort of.

See, I planned to make this taquito recipe from Annie's Eats.  And I then read it called for cooked chicken.  At 5pm, I didn't feel like taking the half hour to cook the chicken before preparing the rest of the meal.  So, instead, I chose to make these quesadillas, also from Annie's Eats.

I was so excited to try a different variation of quesadillas, a meal we often make when grocery shopping needs to be done, but that typically consists of little more than tortilla, cheese, and diced cooked chicken.  Of course, fate was against me, and the grill ran out of gas.  So, we improvised by cooking on the stove.

When it was my plan to do it all on the grill, I didn't see the point of dirtying a pan to cook the onion, so instead used mild Rotel in place of the onion and tomato (and because I didn't have any fresh tomatoes). This made life a little bit easier.  I also added the onion, since I ended up cooking on the stove.

This had delicious flavor; the chicken rub was so much more yummy than plain old cooked chicken.  I'm glad I cooked 3 enormous breasts (as a note, Annie calls for 4 chicken breasts, but we ended up using one, and it made leftovers after making three quesadillas), because now I have some delicious cooked chicken to make quesadillas for lunch, or even taquitos!  I do wish I'd been able to try grilling the whole quesadilla, but it wasn't meant to be tonight.  Because the chicken was so yummy, I did wish I had more stuff to dress up the quesadillas, particularly some avocado.

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas, courtesy of Annie's Eats
Grilled Chicken Quesadillas
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1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves
Half a yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
Corn tortillas (6-7 inches)
Cooking spray
Shredded cheese (pepper jack, cheddar, etc.)
Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat.  Combine the chili powder, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes in a pie plate; whisk to combine.  Add the chicken breast halves and turn to coat.  Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and juices run clear.  Remove from the heat and shred the chicken into small pieces.  Add the onion to the pan and cook until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
Combine the shredded chicken, cooked onion, and diced tomatoes in a mixing bowl; toss to combine.  Lightly brush or spray one side of a tortilla with vegetable oil; flip over on a work surface so the oiled side is facing down.  Place about a quarter of the chicken mixture onto one side of the tortilla.  Top with shredded cheese.  Fold over the tortilla to sandwich the filling inside.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling mixture.
Cook the assembled quesadillas over medium-high heat in a lightly oiled grill pan or skillet until browned on the outside and warmed through with the cheese melted on the inside.  Slice into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa as desired.
Source: adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

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