Here, Chickie Chickie: Chipotle-Lime Chicken Quesadillas

29 Jun

We’re back! (A Dinosaur’s Story! … which I never saw. Clearly because the movie did not contain any quesadillas. Duh.) The “Here Chickie Chickie” posts continue with the latest in my series of what-can-I-do-with-my-rotisserie-chicken recipes and ideas. For the original post on shredding your chicken, click here. If you’d like to revisit our Chef’s Salad, click here.

This one’s a pretty simple Chipotle-Lime Chicken Quesadilla, where the meat gets most of its flavor from fresh lime juice and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. If you’re not familiar with Mexican food, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are the source of that “smoky, spicy, what-on-earth-IS-that-deliciousness?” flavor that you’ll find in a lot of Mex-Mex and Tex-Mex dishes. If you’re a fan of Rachael Ray, she frequently adds these to Mexican and other dishes to add a much-wanted kick to some otherwise bland flavors. Serious nom nom nom.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo. Even Pastene — my favorite brand of canned tomatoes — sells these bad boys.

(Note: This recipe makes enough for 2 large quesadillas; you can easily expand it to as many servings as you like, depending on how much chicken / how many tortillas you have.)

So many chicken noms … Eat All Teh Noms!

You’ll need:

  • Rotisserie Chicken meat, preferably shredded. You could also easily make these with cubed cooked chicken breast meat.
  • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo (finely chopped), or a 1/2 tsp of the adobo sauce if you’re kind of a weakling like me looking for a less spicy version
  • 1/2 of a white onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 lime (You’ll need the juice of 1/2 for the quesadillas, and slices for serving)
  • 1-2 tsp Mexican seasoning blend / taco seasoning blend. You can also substitute cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder.
  • 1 bag Mexican-blend cheese — this usually includes Monterey Jack, cheddar, and a few others. If you’re looking to be really authentic, try some DEEE-licious queso fresco.
  • 2 large tortillas (I used whole wheat and spinach)
  • salsa / lime juice for serving

Here’s what you do:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the chicken, chipotle pepper, white onion, tomato, juice of 1/2 a lime, and seasoning blend until well-combined.

Try adding chopped green pepper to this for an extra crunch — or Sriracha for extra heat!

  • Heat a pan or cast iron skillet over medium-low to medium heat (about 4 or 5 on the stove dial). Meanwhile, sprinkle as much cheese as you like onto each tortilla.

Dang quesadillas-to-be. (Better than Napoleon Dynamite’s, let me tell you.)

  • Add 1/2 of the meat mixture to each tortilla and fold them in half. Cook each quesadilla in the heated pan (add cooking spray just before, unless it’s nonstick) for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the tortillas are toasted and all the filling is heated through. (Ooey-gooey-melted-cheese is what you’re going for here!)

Toasty tortilla — what a beauty. (This one’s the History Teacher’s; extra-large!)

  • Cut into 4 wedges and serve with lime slices, salsa, sour cream, and whatever sides you like.

The best part about using the meat this way is how budget-friendly it is. A packet of tortillas is likely lurking in your fridge anyway, along with whatever vegetables or cheese blends you have hiding in said fridge’s drawers. These quesadillas are a lot like the “pasta stir-fries” and “breakfast tacos” of your first post-college apartment days: take what you’ve got, throw it together in a semi-coherent fashion, and voila: actual sustenance beyond My Friend Ramen Noodle. It’s the flavor additions — the chipotle peppers, the freshly squeezed lime juice — that take these quesadillas to the next level. Look, Ma! I’m actually kind of a grown-up now! 🙂

Furthermore, the beauty of making quesadillas is how versatile their contents can be. Got eggs, ham, and barbecue sauce? How about a Breakfast Quesadilla? Got a can of black beans lurking in your pantry? Mash ’em up with salsa, chopped onion and some herbs, spread the mixture on your tortilla with cheese, and you’ve got a Veggie Quesadilla extraordinaire. The History Teacher even made a pizza-esque quesadilla the next day after combining spare tomato sauce, meatballs, some sliced mushrooms and provolone cheese. An Italian-dilla?Why not? Ciao Bella and Adios!

Stay tuned for a few more Here, Chickie Chickie updates in the next few days, including a Cast Iron Skillet Pizza that may or may not have resulted in an epic 2nd degree burn-fest for yours truly. Note to self: hot skillet will remain hot for quite some time. 

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