BARBECUE CHICKEN QUESADILLAS Recipe
- 1 1 1lime, juiced
- 1 1/2 1.5 1.5cups CUP_USVolumesour cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 5 5Roma tomatoes
- 2 2 2dried chipotle chiles, reconstituted in warm water to cover until soft, then drained
- 1/2 0.5 0.5cup CUP_USVolumefresh lime juice
- 1/2 0.5 0.5cup CUP_USVolumechopped basil leaves
- 1/4 0.25 0.25cup CUP_USVolumeminced garlic
- 1/4 0.25 0.25cup CUP_USVolumebalsamic vinegar
- 2 2 2teaspoons TEASPOON_USVolumesugar
- 2 2 2teaspoons TEASPOON_USVolumesalt
- 1/2 0.5 0.5teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumefreshly cracked black pepper
- 1 1 1cup CUP_USVolumeolive oil
- 5 5 5Roma tomatoes
- 1/4 0.25 0.25cup CUP_USVolumepeanut oil
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumeminced ginger
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumeminced garlic
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumechopped cilantro leaves
- 1 1 1tablespoon TABLESPOON_USVolumechopped green onion
- 1 1 1teaspoon TEASPOON_USVolumecrushed red pepper
- 1 1 1pound POUNDWeightboneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Peanut oil
- 1 1 1red onion, sliced
- 1/4 0.25 0.25cup CUP_USVolumebarbecue sauce (1/4-1/2 cup for 6 servings)
- 8 8 8(8-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 1 1cup CUP_USVolumeshredded fontina cheese
- 1 1 1cup CUP_USVolumeshredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 3 3tablespoons TABLESPOON_USVolumebutter
- Make the Mexican Cream: In a nonreactive bowl, stir together all of the ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
- Make the Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa: Over a hot grill, roast the tomatoes until blackened all over. Transfer to a bowl and add the chipotles. Cover and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice, basil, and garlic and marinate for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and pulse until chunky. Transfer to a nonreactive bowl and add the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.
- To start the Quesadillas: In a mixing bowl, stir together the peanut oil, ginger, garlic, cilantro, green onion, and red pepper. Add the chicken breasts, turn to coat them well, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season all over with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough peanut oil to coat the bottom. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven, leave the chicken to cool slightly, and then cut it into 1/2-inch dice and put the dice in a mixing bowl.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan. Drizzle the onion slices with oil and place them on the grill. Cook until the onions are tender and golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill.
- Add enough of the barbecue sauce to the mixing bowl to coat the chicken to your taste. Place 4 tortillas on a flat work surface. In a separate bowl, toss together the fontina and mozzarella cheeses. Evenly distribute about half of the cheese mixture among the 4 tortillas. Then, evenly spread all of the chicken and the onions on top of the cheese and top them with the remaining cheese and the 4 remaining tortillas.
- Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook until it is foamy. Carefully transfer 1 quesadilla to the pan and cook, pressing down with a spatula to seal the tortillas together as the cheese melts, until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, turning the quesadilla very carefully. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas, adding more butter to the pan as necessary.
With a sharp knife, cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges, transferring them to a serving plate. Top each serving with Mexican Cream and Salsa, or pass them for guests to add to taste.
Note: Serves 4 to 6
Mexico's version of the familiar grilled cheese sandwich gains incredible flexibility from the tortilla that encloses it. For this barbecue chicken version, I marinate chicken breasts with Latin American seasonings, cook them, and toss the chunks of meat with barbecue sauce before enclosing it with cheese inside flour tortillas and pan-frying them until crispy and golden. Tangy Mexican-style sour cream and roasted tomato-and-chili salsa make flavorful finishing touches. You'll find a similar version of this great quesadilla recipe, minus the barbecue sauce, in my cookbook Live, Love, Eat!