Thursday 26 March 2015

Chicken Quesadillas + Fresh Tomato Salsa.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Spring is here people!
The daffodils are blooming, the late-afternoon sun is glowing and these quesadillas (stuffed Mexican tortillas - think a Mexican grilled cheese sandwich) with fresh tomato salsa are just begging to be made in your kitchen.

Seriously, this meal has it all. Crispy tortillas stuffed with spicy, smoky chicken and gooey, melted cheese paired with the best salsa ever.

Tomatoes are the star of this one. It's epic and super juicy - with chilli and lime juice running through it. Omg. I need to make it again. 

This is the kind of spring/summer meal I like - quick, simple and super satisfying on so many levels. I'm going to show you how to make the quesadillas from scratch but you could just as easily fill them with leftovers. Whichever way, I hope you make them for dinner tonight. 

Tortillas, previously: Spicy baked tortilla chipsChimichurri fish tacosChicken tacosChicken enchiladas.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Boneless Chicken Breast Pieces
2. Rapeseed Oil
3. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
4. Paprika
5. Garlic Powder
6. Salt
7. Dried Oregano
8. Olive Oil
9. Butter
10. Vegetable Oil
11. Tortilla Wraps
12. Cheddar Cheese
13. Tomatoes
14. Spring Onions
15. Red Chilli
16. Jalapeno Chilli
17. Fresh Coriander
18. Lime

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, to marinade the chicken. Take:
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Remember, that the above is according to my taste. Feel free to adjust, if you want.

Add the spices to 1 pound Boneless Chicken Breast Pieces
Now, two things. 
First, I used chicken breast but feel free to use chicken thighs, if that's your thing.
And second, my chicken was cut into large chunks which meant I had to shred slightly when cooked. If you want, you can cut it smaller now.

Next, grab some oil. I used rapeseed oil but olive or vegetable will do too.

Pour in about 3 tablespoons Rapeseed Oil.

And that's it for the marinade.

All that's left to do now is stir everything and make sure the chicken is evenly coated.
Cover the chicken and leave to marinade for at least 1 hour. I left mine in the fridge overnight so if you can, do that.

Then, when you're ready, grab the rest of the quesadilla ingredients.

First job, cook the chicken. Take a medium saucepan or frying pan and pop over a medium heat.

Add 1 tablespoon Olive Oil.

And, 1 tablespoon Butter.

Let the butter melt.

And, then it's time to add the chicken with all it's marinade.

Stir-fry the chicken for a few minutes and then turn the heat right down.

Cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

While the chicken cooks, it's a good time to make the tomato salsa.

First, take 3 Tomatoes. Slice into rounds.

Then, slice each round into 4.

And, cut into cubes.

Continue with the rest and pop into a bowl.

Next, finely slice 6 Spring Onions.

And, add to the bowl.

Then, the chillies. I used 1 large Red Chilli and 1 Jalapeno Chilli.

Remove the seeds, if you want, (I didn't), finely slice and add to the bowl.

Time for the coriander! Take a small handful Fresh Coriander.

Give it a fine chop and add on in.

Then, slice 1 Lime.

And, squeeze in the juice.

Finally, Salt and Pepper, to taste.

Give everything a good stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes so that all the flavours can get to know each other.

At this point, the chicken will be cooked. You will notice a lot of liquid in the pan. 

We don't want too much liquid as it will make the quesadilla soggy. So, turn up the heat and dry out the liquid.

It shouldn't be completely dried out though.

A little liquid will keep the quesadillas juicy.

As I mentioned before, my chicken pieces were quite big. So, using a knife and fork to help me, I cut them into smaller pieces.

Like this!

Then, I threw them back into the pan.

And, gave them a good stir to coat in all the lovely pan juices. That's where the flavour is at, my friends.

Now, it's time to cook the quesadillas. Place a large frying pan or saucepan over a low heat.

Next, take a few handfuls Cheddar Cheese, grated. Please try and grate it yourself at home - it's so much better.

And, of course, you'll need tortillas. I used 5 Tortilla Wraps.

Bring all the ingredients together - the chicken, cheese, tortilla wraps and vegetable oil.

I will show you 2 ways to make these. First, take 2 Tortilla Wraps. Onto one, drizzle a little Vegetable Oil.

And, brush all over.

Flip it over.

And, put on some chicken.

Sprinkle over some grated cheese.

Brush vegetable oil onto one side of the second tortilla.

Take the chicken one to the cooker.

And, put it into the pan which should still be over a low heat. Make sure you do the keep the heat quite low as we are only melting the cheese here. Tortillas have a tendency to brown super quickly.

Put the second one on top - oil side up. Cook over the low heat for 3 minutes. Lift up and check underneath to see if it's browned. 
Use your spatula to press down the edges to almost seal it.

Once you think it's ready, carefully flip over.

To speed up the cheese-melting process, cover the pan for a minute or two.

Once lovely and toasted on both sides, use a spatula to help you get it on to a board.

And, slice up using a pizza cutter. I find it's easier this way but you can use a knife too.

The second way to make it is by only using one tortilla. Brush one side with vegetable oil.

Flip over and place the chicken and cheese onto one half.

Fold over and it's ready to cook.

Cook over the low heat until golden brown on both sides and heated through.

And, we're done! Grab your salsa and serve up!

Eat as soon as possible! Enjoy!

Full Written Recipe:

Chicken Quesadillas + Fresh Tomato Salsa.

Prep Time: About 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: About 5 minutes
Serves: Makes 5 large quesadillas


For the Chicken Quesadillas
1 pound Boneless Chicken Breast Pieces
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
1 teaspoon Paprika
½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
3 tablespoons Rapeseed Oil
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
5 Tortilla Wraps
Few handfuls Cheddar Cheese, grated
Vegetable Oil, to brush on the quesadillas

For the Fresh Tomato Salsa
3 Tomatoes, cut into small chunks
6 Spring Onions, finely sliced
1 long Red Chilli, finely sliced
1 Jalapeno Chilli, finely sliced
Small handful Fresh Coriander, finely sliced
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste


For the chicken quesadillas, place the chicken, red chilli flakes, paprika, garlic powder, salt, dried oregano and rapeseed oil into a bowl. Mix and set aside to marinade for at least an hour. If you can, pop it into the fridge overnight.

Next, take a frying pan or saucepan, and place over a medium heat. Add in the olive oil and butter, and let the butter melt.

Once melted, add the chicken and all the marinade. Stir-fry the chicken for a few minutes, and then turn the heat right down. Cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

In this time, place all the salsa ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Leave the salsa to stand for at least ten minutes before eating.

When the chicken is cooked, uncover, turn the heat up and dry out any excess liquid. If it’s dry enough, shred the chicken into small pieces.

Next, to assemble the quesadillas. Place a large frying pan over a low heat.

Brush one side of the tortilla with vegetable oil. Flip over and place some chicken and grated cheese on that side. Brush another tortilla with vegetable oil, and place it on top – oil side on top.

Carefully put the quesadilla into the pan, and cook over a low heat for a minute or two until golden brown underneath.

Carefully, turn over and cook for another minute or two. You’re looking for the quesadilla to be golden brown on both sides and for the cheese to have melted.

Remove to a board, and slice. Serve with the tomato salsa immediately. Enjoy!

(Adapted from Laura in the Kitchen)

This Time One Year Ago:

Cheesy Chicken Tandoori Wraps

This Time Two Years Ago:

Peri Peri Chicken Goujons with Peri Peri Sauce

Keep me in your duas, please, and enjoy your quesadillas,


Spice Enthusiast
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