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Simple Chicken Quesadillas

done1_edited-1Happy Cinco de Mayo!  The day when Mexican-American’s and those who love them celebrate Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War.  I say Mexican-Americans because, although also recognized in Mexico, it is a holiday far more upheld for those of Mexican decent living here in the U.S. as more of a celebration of culture and heritage.  I happen to love such holidays as they give us cause to look into the beautiful cultures surrounding us and allow us to partake in all they have to offer culturally.  For me, that usually means following a traditional recipe or working my own spin on a dish widely identified with said culture.

In today’s case Chicken Quesadillas are on the menu.  My husband and I are starting to eat low-carb, so you will see salad is there where rice and beans would normally be and I am using a low-carb whole wheat tortilla.  But, the essence of this famed Mexican dish is still here.  It is essentially my nod to the Mexican culture and their rich culinary contribution to the American diet.

Thank-you Mexico for such a delicious part of our weekly cooking, as we definitely have quesadillas as a staple in this home.  Let me share one of my favorite preparations with you today.

Start with a plain, boneless, skinless chicken breast.

For this recipe, I don’t like to overwhelm the chicken with too much spice… So, as you can see here, I sprinkle on the spices to just one side of the chicken before I slice it in preparation for cooking.  Here, I have sprinkled on a couple of shakes of Hungarian Paprika.

Continue by sprinkling on a couple shakes of garlic powder and cumin.

Lastly, I sprinkle on some salt. More salt will be added once the chicken is in the skillet.

Thinly slice the chicken.

Chicken is ready for the pan. Now you can prepare the non-stick skillet over medium heat with about a teaspoon of veggie oil.

Give the chicken a few minutes in the pan. Don’t fuss with it, you are trying to achieve a gentle browning.  At this point, sprinkle the chicken with some more kosher salt.

After a few minutes, turn the chicken and do the same to the other side.

colby jack

Now you will want to work with your cheese. I chose to use two types of cheese today because it’s a special day. Sometimes I just use one and sometimes I use whatever I have in my fridge that melts nicely. My first choice is a hunk of Colby Jack Cheese.

 

pepper jack

My next choice is a hunk of Pepper Jack.

shredded

Shred both.

Place a whole wheat tortilla (in my case one that is high in fiber) on a heated non-stick skillet (med/high) . Then spread half the cheese on one side.

add chicken

Now, add the cooked chicken on top of the cheese.  Add the Pepper Jack on top of that as sort of a delicious glue.

Fold tortilla over the cheese and chicken and cook on high/med heat.  After a few minutes, don’t forget about it, this happens fairly quickly, flip and do the same to the other side.

cut

Slice quesadilla into four pieces like so.  Serve with salsa and a dollup of sour cream.

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Recipe for Simple Chicken Quesadillas:

(serves 2)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 whole wheat tortillas (shown here are a low carb kind. with only 6 net carbs per wrap)

4 oz Colby Jack

4 oz Pepper Jack

1 Tbs. Canola oil

sprinkle of Hungarian Paprika

sprinkle of cumin

sprinkle of garlic powder

Directions:

Prepare chicken by seasoning with a sprinkle of each of the spices.  Slice chicken and cook with canola oil on medium heat to finished. Sprinkle with another pinch of kosher salt once in pan. Set chicken aside.

In a non-stick skillet or cast iron one, heat some Canola Oil on med/high heat.  Add in tortilla.  Then cover half with 1/2 Colby Jack, then chicken, then Pepper Jack. Fold tortilla in half over the contents. Cook about 2 minutes on both sides until golden brown on the outside.

Cut into 4 wedges and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Enjoy!