Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

I met Ree Drummond last spring when her book came out.  She came to Denver and a friend and I drove down there and spent three hours in the bookstore waiting in line to meet her.  It was totally worth our 3.5 hour wait and 1.5 drive.

While we waited, we talked about her recipes that we had tried of hers and liked and recipes that we still hadn't tried and wanted to try.  I know that her recipes are not made for city people who have office jobs and sit all day, so I try to use her recipes sparingly in my rotations.  The other day I was watching her show on Food Network and thought it would be fun to throw one of her recipes onto my meal plan this week.

This chicken and pineapple quesadilla caught my eye a long time ago.  I have never made quesadillas other than the classic ones that you get at Mexican restaurants or at fast food places like Taco Johns.  So I thought it would be interesting to see how the flavor combinations worked.

Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas
adapted from Pioneer Woman
4 whole Flour Tortillas
2 cups Grilled Pineapple, Sliced
2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
3 cups Monterey Jack Cheese or Cheddar, Grated
1/2 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce
1 green onion stalk


1)We used canned pineapple for our quesadillas.  The pineapple in the produce section were looking really nasty, so I decided to just use the canned pineapple I already had.  Grill pineapple on skewers until they have a nice char on them.
2) I used leftover chicken from taco salads to make these.  They were cooked in the crockpot with orange juice, lime juice, and some garlic. 
3) Warm griddle (we used our panini maker griddle) over low heat and spray with Pam or some cooking spray (if you don't have cooking spray, butter would work fine too).
4) We made quesadillas with one tortilla folded in half, so to assemble, sprinkle four browned tortillas with grated Monterey Jack. Arrange chicken slices evenly over the surface. Add pineapple slices, jalapeno slices, and a little bit of the onion. Sprinkle on cilantro. Squeeze the lime juice on top of everything.  Drizzle barbecue sauce over the top. Fold the other half of the tortilla over and cook.  If you don't have a panini maker griddle, cook one side until it is to your desired level of done and then flip over and finish on the other half.
5) Cut each quesadilla into three wedges. Serve with sour cream and pico de gallo.

I loved the combination of the sweetness from the pineapple and the taste of the cilantro.  The barbeque sauce boosted this flavor combination to be something out of this world.  We chopped the jalapeno into really fine pieces since neither of us can handle too much heat, but I you could still detect that they were in the quesadilla.  I think that the flavor marriage in this quesadilla was perfect.  I can't wait to try other quesadillas that aren't just fast food knockoffs.

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