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Chicken Quesadilla

Monday, March 10, 2014

[Recipe makes 4 quesadillas].
With an end in sight to one of the coldest winters on record here in Wisconsin, I thought it was only right to make something summery.  It may have only been in the low 40s (°F) yesterday, but it was warm enough for me.  Warm enough, in fact, that I decided to shovel a path through a couple feet of snow leading straight to our grill.  A bit premature?  Probably, but it was worth it.

So as you're probably aware, this is one of those recipes that doesn't need to be followed to a T.  Use the recipe below as a starting point, and make whatever changes you wish to personalize it to your liking.  I ended up using grilled chicken seasoned with Merquén, a mayo based sauce, cheddar and pepperjack, cilantro, and lime, but other options may include black beans, corn, rice, green onions, or diced tomatoes.  To go all out, serve alongside some Mexican rice or chips with salsa fresca or guacamole.

INGREDIENTS:

(8) 8" tortillas
3 chicken breasts, brined in advance
2 cups shredded cheese (use a combination of mozzarella, pepperjack, quesos fresco, or sharp cheddar)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
Sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

Grill your chicken for several minutes on each side, or until an internal temperature of 165° F is met.  Transfer your chicken to a plate and cover with tin foil.

While the chicken is resting, whisk together the mayonnaise, jalapeño, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder.  Lastly, preheat a nonstick skillet over medium low heat.  Once the chicken has rested for at least 10 minutes, slice against the grain, achieving 1/4" slices.

To assemble, spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each tortilla.  Top one with 1/4 cup cheese, one quarter of the sliced chicken, fresh cilantro, and an additional 1/4 cup of cheese.  Place your second tortilla on top of your fillings, mayonnaise side down.  Spray the nonstick skillet with some cooking spray, and carefully place your quesadilla in the pan.  Cook for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Using a wide spatula, carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and cut into quarters.  Garnish with sour cream, cilantro, and lime wedges.

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