Daily Planet's Chile-Braised Chicken Quesadillas

Course : Chicken
Serves: 6
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1 cup canola oil -- divided
3 pounds boneless chicken breast -- cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons new mexico chili powder
3 cups monterey jack cheese -- shredded
3 cups vermont white cheddar cheese -- shredded
1 cup goat cheese -- crumbled
1 bunch fresh cilantro -- chopped
12 tortillas flour tortillas -- 9-inch
2 cans diced tomatoes -- (14 1/2 ounce) drained
1 medium red onion -- finely chopped
10 medium fresh jalapeno peppers -- seeded and chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro -- chopped
1 medium lemon -- juiced
2 medium limes -- juiced
1/8 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper -- (optional)

Preparation / Directions:

In a large saute pan, heat 1/3 cup oil on high heat. Just before oil smokes, place chicken in oil and sear on both sides until light golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Place seared chicken in a large roasting pan with lid or large covered casserole dish. Cover chicken with water and add chili powder. Stir to mix. Place on stovetop and bring to a boil. Cover and remove to a preheated 425-degree oven. Bake for one h our and 20 minutes or until 95 percent of liquid is gone. Remove from remaining liquid and cool. Shred with fingers into small pieces. In a large bowl, place shredded cheeses and chopped cilantro. Toss until well mixed. Place about 6 ounces of chicken on one tortilla. Layer cheese mixture over chicken. Cover with additional tortilla. Press with a large plate to smash together. In a large saute pan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil on high heat. Carefully place quesadilla in oil and cook until golden brown, about 45 seconds. Turn and brown on reverse side. Remove quesadilla to wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the quesadillas. Place quesadillas on top oven rack in preheated 325-degree oven. Place drip pan under quesadillas to catch oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until oil is removed. Place each quesadilla on a large plate and cut into 6 pieces. Top with Salsa Fresca. Salsa Fresca: Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. Chill and serve.

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