Saturday, May 24, 2014

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with Corn and Avocado Salad

I have a very urgent message from my kitchen to yours: YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE QUESADILLAS.

I was telling my friend about this mouthwatering creation and she said: "I am convinced that barbecue sauce is the greatest condiment of all time." This was such a wonderful nugget of wisdom--it is so true!

I had a hard time photographing these BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with Corn and Avocado Salad but I knew I needed to share this recipe with you immediately. This was one of those meals that I cooked, plated, took a bite and immediately closed my eyes and said "MMMMmmmmMMmmmm." When that happens...well, people need to know about it.

There are a few key components take these quesadillas above and beyond. Tender chicken breast that is baked to perfection, crusted in a bunch of tasty spices is a good place to start. Thinly sliced red onions add a necessary tang. Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce because...well...see comment above. Monterey Jack cheese is an absolute necessity--it melts so wonderfully and keeps all the tasty goodness packed inside crispy whole wheat tortillas.

Because we can't stop, won't stop, I also add some crispy bacon strips. Duh.

There are a few different ways that people build quesadillas. I prefer laying one tortilla in a big pan, adding all the fillings to one side then folding the tortilla in half to form a half moon. Some people layer one tortilla on top of another and cut it like a pizza, but I tend to lose all my filling this way.

When it comes to bringing this whole meal together, sour cream is a great way to cool down the spicy tang of the barbecue sauce. The corn and avocado salad is fresh and light, the perfect compliment to our crispy, gooey quesadillas. Let's get to it -- I know you can't wait any longer!

Here's what you need for BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with Corn and Avocado Salad* (Print Recipe!)

For the quesadillas
2 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
8 ounces grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 slices crisp bacon
About 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I just eyeballed this...)

For the salad
1 cup whole corn kernels (I used frozen, thawed corn)
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
3 chives, white and light green parts diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped fine

sour cream for serving

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken breast on an foil-lined baking sheet spritzed with cooking spray. Combine the chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread evenly over the tops of the chicken. Bake for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool slightly then slice it as thinly as you can!

Spray a large 10-inch skillet with a little bit of cooking spray. Warm over medium-low heat. Place a tortilla on the pan and flip it after 1 minute. Place a layer of cheese down on half the tortilla, being sure to leave about 1/2 inch of space on the sides to prevent overflow. Sprinkle a few slices of the red onion down on top then drizzle a bit of BBQ sauce on top, about a tablespoon. Place 3 or 4 slices of chicken on top of the sauce. Break 1 piece of the bacon into a few pieces and crumble on top. Add another teaspoon or so of BBQ sauce and finish it off with a little sprinkle of more cheese.

Carefully lift the non-filled side of the tortilla and pull it over the filling, pushing down gently. After about 30 seconds, flip the quesadilla and allow the other side to get browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining 4 tortillas.

Cut each quesadilla into 4 slices and serve with a dollop and sour cream and the corn and avocado salad.

To make the salad, simply toss together all the ingredients and chill in the fridge until read to serve. Don't make it too far ahead of time or the avocado will brown.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

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