Last night we felt like having chicken quesadillas for dinner. Usually when I make these for Wyatt I just grab some leftover chicken from a previous meal and throw things together, but last night I didn’t have any leftovers so I was starting from scratch. So I thought about it and decided the way to go was to braise the chicken for a really deep level of flavor.
I had boneless skinless chicken breasts which is probably about as bland a starting place as you can get so I knew it was up to me to infuse the chicken with flavor so we weren’t stuck with boring quesadillas. Because there is nothing sadder than a boring quesadilla.
So, step one, add some olive oil and butter to a deep oven safe skillet. Heat that up over medium heat until it is pretty hot so your chicken sizzles when it hits the pan. Meanwhile, season your chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper and smoky paprika. Peel and cut two carrots in half and quarter 1 small sweet onion. Smash 2 cloves of garlic. Add all of this to the skillet.
Sear chicken on both sides until deep golden brown. Then add about 2 Tbs tomato paste to pan and stir to caramelize still over medium heat.
When the tomato paste is nice and caramelized and kind of sticking to the bottom of the pan pour in about 1 cup of white wine. I was drinking Chardonnay so that’s what was open so that is what I added. Any wine would be fine.
Deglaze the pan with this until the wine is very reduced and then add about 2 cups of chicken stock. Cover the pan and put into a 350 degree oven and braise the chicken for at least an hour or until you can easily shred it with 2 forks. After you shred with 2 forks add the skillet back to your range top and cook over medium heat until the sauce is much reduced and the chicken is very tender and infused with flavor. It looks like this when it’s ready:
Now you are ready to make your quesadillas. We used large flour tortillas for ours. Take 1 tortilla and spread chicken all around leaving a little space around the sides so the filling doesn’t leak out when you flip. Then add whatever cheese and extras you like. Wyatt likes Jalapeno’s and salsa added to his and cheddar cheese and this is funny I actually had fresh Buffalo Mozzarella so I put a little of that in his. I like pepper jack and onions and weirdly enough lettuce in mine and then I like to dip in sour cream and guacamole. But put whatever you like in there. Just cheese and chicken is delicious.
Put a little butter into a non stick pan and add quesadilla pressing down on top with your spatula. After about 2 minutes carefully flip tortilla and press down on the other side until all the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown
I forgot to take a picture of the whole quesadilla because we were busy eating! But I finally remembered and got a photo of the last slice before we ate it! Hahaha…they were delicious and we all enjoyed. I will make this again for sure!
Ingredients you will need:
- 2 chicken breasts-if you have bone in skin on that’s even better, but boneless skinless worked just fine
- 1 sweet onion, quartered
- 2 carrots
- 2 garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
- smoky paprika
- tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Flour tortillas
- olive oil
- Cheeses of your choice
- toppings of your choice-jalapenos, onions, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole are some ideas
Follow the method as directed above.