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Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas
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Combine the chicken with the marinade ingredients and toss thoroughly.
Hold Roma tomatoes, one at a time, over gas flame until skin blackens and peels away.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over the tortilla in the skillet.
Top with 1/4 salsa mixture and marinated chicken mixture.
Top with 1/4 cup cheese and another tortilla and press down.

Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas

Makes 4 quesadillas (4 entrée servings or 8 appetizer servings)

Southwestern flavors abound in this quesadilla recipe. The chunky salsa gets a rich, smoky flavor by roasting the tomatoes and peppers. These quesadillas are perfect for an entree or sliced into smaller portions, make great appetizers.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, grilled or broiled
  • 8 large flour tortillas (about 8 to 9 inches diameter)
  • 2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
  • Extra olive oil for oiling skillet
  • Sour cream and cilantro sprigs for garnish

Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Roasted tomato and pepper salsa:

  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Method
  1. Slice cooked, grilled chicken breasts into thin strips.
  2. In a glass bowl combine olive oil, lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro and salt. Add chicken strips, toss to coat thoroughly and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to marinade.
  3. To make salsa: Working with one Roma tomato at a time, hold over open gas flame with a long handled carving fork, turning constantly for about 1 to 2 minutes until skin blackens and peels away from tomato. Repeat with red bell pepper and poblano chile. If you haven’t got a gas cooktop, place Roma tomatoes on broiler tray directly under pre-heated broiler. Turn several times until skins are blackened and peeling. Repeat with red bell pepper and poblano chile.
  4. Peel, core, seed and dice tomatoes, red bell pepper and chile and stir together in a medium bowl with cilantro, scallions and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. To assemble quesadillas: With a slotted spoon remove chicken mixture from marinade and place in a clean bowl. Discard excess marinading liquid. Place one tortilla in base of lightly oiled, large, heavy skillet set over medium heat. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese over surface of tortilla. Top with about 1/4 of salsa mixture and marinated chicken mixture. Top with another 1/4 cup cheese and another tortilla. With a flat metal spatula press down firmly on quesadilla in pan to help the cheese to melt and the filling to stick together. Cook for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip over entire quesadilla and cook other side, pressing down with spatula for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. The tortillas should be golden brown and cheese should be melted. Adjust heat under pan if tortilla is getting too brown. Remove from skillet; keep warm on baking sheet in a low oven. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling to make 4 quesadillas.
Presentation

Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges; arrange on a hot plate (4 wedges for an entree, 1 or 2 wedges for an appetizer). Top each serving with a small dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro.

Wine Recommendation:

Believe it or not I like to drink slightly chilled red wine with a spicy, smoky dish like these quesadillas. I love Bonny Doon’s Ca’ del Solo, Woodbridge reds from California, or some of the inexpensive Australian Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blends from growers like Rosemount Estate and Penfolds. Place them in the refrigerator for half an hour before you serve them.
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