Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken Quesadillas




On the whole, these quesadillas are not bad.  They are not my favorite, though.  There's not quite enough chicken and a little too much onion.   These quesadillas are finished in the oven and perhaps I let them go for too long in the oven, because I normally love a lot of onion.  However, the sugars in the onion caramelized during the oven cooking and so these quesadillas had a sweet-savory flavor.  As I've mentioned previously, I don't really like that taste mixture.

My Changes

1) I could not find 10" whole wheat tortillas, so I went with the 8" versions.  The original recipe calls for regular flour tortillas.  Whole wheat tortillas give a bit more fiber and they taste great, so I always buy them instead.

2) Perhaps the filling is supposed to be on the skimpy side as the original recipe calls for 10 tortillas.  There was no way I was going to be able to spread this filling out that far.  I barely made it to 7 tortillas. 

3) The original calls for a Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend.  I already had shredded chedder in the freezer, so I used that instead.

4) The original recipe instructs you to cut the chicken into strips, cook it, then keep it in the pan as you cook the onions.  I was worried that the there wasn't going to be enough chicken breast (and I was right, see my note above); I was also worried that the chicken breast would turn out a bit dry.  So I poached the chicken over medium heat and then removed it from the pan and chopped it.  I then cooked the onions separately and added the chicken back into the pan once the onions were done.

 

4) The onion were supposed to be cooked until translucent; however, I wanted my onions a bit crunchy for some added texture.  So I cooked them until they were just wilted.


Of course, they ended up soft anyway, because the quesadillas spent ten minutes in the oven, to finish cooking.  Oh well!

The Recipe (from Allrecipes.com, with modifications)

Ingredients

  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 7 (8 inch) whole- wheat flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour about an inch of water into a large skillet.  Place the chicken breast in the water.  Heat the skillet and its contents over medium heat.  Cover and cook until the chicken is just done (about 5-10 minutes) Remove them from the pan and chop them.  
  3. Add the onions to the pan and fry (stirring constantly) until they are just wilted.  Add the salsa  and chopped chicken; mix well.  Turn off the heat. 
  4. Fill half of 1 tortilla with the chicken mixture and cheese, then fold the tortilla over the full half. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. Arrange the quesadillas on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake the quesadillas in the preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until the cheese has melted (about 5-10 minutes). Cut the quesadillas into fours.  They are best when served immediately.  

 
Cost:

Mission 8" Tortillas: $3.29 for 10.

I already had the remaining ingredients in my kitchen.

Conclusion:

The color on these quesadillas are not so appealing.  I think that the next time I made them, I pan-fry them in a dry pan (i.e. a non-stick pan without oil).  That will give them a nice brown color.  It will also keep the onions from caramelizing and keep them crunchy.  I'm sure that these will be great with red bell pepper and garlic added in!

I noticed that my version has more a bit more sodium than I like (I try to keep it under 600mg per serving).  I think it's because I didn't stretch out the filling to 10 tortillas...

Nutrition Per Serving:

  Calories
326.3

  Total Fat
16.0 g

 
  Saturated Fat
8.1 g

 
  Polyunsaturated Fat
0.5 g

 
  Monounsaturated Fat
3.6 g

  Cholesterol
59.2 mg

  Sodium
675.4 mg

  Potassium
157.3 mg

  Total Carbohydrate
26.1 g

 
  Dietary Fiber
4.4 g

 
  Sugars
1.0 g

  Protein
21.4 g

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