Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicken Quesadillas

Have you ever eaten at Garcia's in I.F. and gotten their mini-chimi's with Jalapeno Cream cheese? or the Crispy Chicken Burritos at Taco Time? I love both of those. Last weekend I decided to experiment and see if I could come up with something that reminded me of those two things. I made the filling and then thought rather than roll up in a tortilla, why not make into quesadillas? They turned out tasting pretty close to what  I was hungry for! Yum!!

Chicken Quesadillas

1 pound chicken tenders (or about 5-6 chicken tenders or 2 large chicken breasts)
1 package Grill Mates Baja Citrus or Chipotle Marinade mix
1- 8oz. package cream cheese, brought to room tempurature
1 heaping Tablespoon canned green chilis with a little of the juice
2 minced jalapeno's or serrano peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour tortillas (any size--I like to use the snack size)
Grated monterey jack cheese
Salsa
Guacamole

Mix Marinade packet according to directions on the package. Marinade chicken tenders for at least a half an hour. (Remember the longer you marinade, the more flavorful your chicken will be.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle with  about a Tablespoon of olive oil, when oil is hot add chicken tenders. Cook over medium heat until golden brown on both sides, and cooked through. (or you can grill your chicken on a hot grill, for about 6 to 7 minutes on each side over medium/high heat)
While chicken is cooking combine the cream cheese, green chili's and about a 1/2 Tablespoon of the chili pepper juice, and jalapenos together in a medium size bowl.  You can add a chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce if you like things really spicy, but I like them a little  milder.
When chicken is done, place on a cutting board, and let cool a few minutes to allow the juices to settle and so you can handle it. Dice the chicken and place in bowl with the cream cheese mixture. Stir to combine. At this point, taste and add salt and pepper to suit your taste.
On a large cookie sheet that is sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, place 3 tortillas. Spread each toritilla with a heaping spoonful or two of the chicken mixture. You want a good layer on the tortilla. Sprinkle a little grated cheese over the filling. Top with another tortilla. I spray the top tortilla with a little cooking spray, or you can brush with butter.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and the tortilla's are crispy and starting to brown slightly.
Remove from oven and cut in half, and then cut in half the other direction so each quesadilla is in four pieces. If using the small snack size tortilla's you should have filling left for more quesadilla's.
Serve with salsa and guacamole if desired. Enjoy!

--This makes a good appetizer, or main dish served with a salad. And this is a good way to use left over cooked chicken if you like.

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