Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

     It's Fajita time!  Delicious, fresh sweet onion, red and green bell pepper seasoned and stir-fried among Rotel tomatoes and sauteed chicken breast strips that have been drinking up a homemade Latin marinade that will have you eating the chicken out of the pan!  Add some freshly grated melting cheese and grill it all up in a beautiful whole wheat tortilla for some south of the border Heaven in your mouth! 

     We just love these fajita quesadillas and both agree that they are better than any authenic Mexican restaurant we've eaten at.  I used Queso Chihuahua cheese that is an authentic Mexican cheese similar to Manchego, which is one of my favorites.  You could use either one, or in a pinch colby jack would be great too. Seriously, the lime, garlic and cumin from the marinade make the chicken irresistable! The marinade is a must, and I think it would also be simply perfect for grilled chicken in the summer. Quality, fresh ingredients really take recipes to the next don't leave out the melting cheese (Manchego or Queso Chihuahua), fresh lime, or addition of red bell peppers if you want a perfectly Mexican cuisine experience!  We ate this with seasoned black beans & rice with salsa verde and sour cream for dipping.  Spice up your weekend with these homemade chicken fajita quesadillas!

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas  

2 chicken breasts

2 limes
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1/2 sweet onion
Manchego or Queso Chiahuahua Cheese,
shredded (3-4 cups)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes, drained
Whole Wheat Tortillas

For the marinade: in a small bowl, juice 1 1/2 limes, add cumin, garlic and salt and pepper.  While stirring, add enough olive oil to thin it out. Usually about double the oil to lime juice. (You can also add a little cayenne pepper for more heat.) Slice the raw chicken breast thinly and place in a heavy duty plasic bag.  Add marinade and smoosh with your hands to incorporate all around the chicken.  Place in refrigerator as little as 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

Thinly slice onion and pepper.  In a large cast iron skillet (that's what I like to use:) add a couple swirls of olive oil on med-high heat.  Add the marinated chicken and sautee until golden brown.  When ready, spoon the chicken out and lay on paper towels to drain. Chop chicken into smaller pieces and set aside. Turn the heat down to medium, wipe out the pan and add more olive oil. Add the sliced peppers. After they start to soften, add the sliced onion. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Sautee until everything is very soft. Stir in the drained rotel tomatoes and chicken. Squeeze the other half of the remaining lime over the chicken filling and sit the pan aside.

Get out a clean pan and put it on the oven on med-low heat. Spray a little cooking spray if your need needs it. As you start to assemble the quesadilla's gather the tortillas, cheese, and chicken mixture.  Start by sprinkling cheese all over a tortilla leaving about 1 inch from the edge, add the chicken and pepper filling, and add more cheese and another tortilla on top.  (Kind of like a tortilla sandwich.) Put in the pan for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts and carefully turn over to brown the other side.  Take out of the pan and cut, like a pie, into 4 pieces.  You will probably have enough filling to do this a couple more times.  Garnish with salsa and sour cream. Serve 2-4 pieces per person.  This recipe will make enough for about 3-6 people.

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