September 19, 2010

Chicken, apple, caramelized onion, and cheese quesadillas

Chicken apple caramelized onion and cheese quesadillas.

I got the idea for these quesadillas when I saw this recipe. As soon as I saw them, I wanted to make them. I'm really getting into fall and fall flavors now that the weather is cooler and the grocery and farmer's market are full of apples, grapes, squash, and all the other wonderful fall produce. 

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I changed these quesadillas up a bit from the recipe that inspired them. I layered in some smoked mozzarella, cheddar, apple-wood smoked bacon, chicken, caramelized red onion, and sweet apple. They would be a great way to use up leftover chicken, too. This made four quesadillas and could easily be adjust to make more, if needed. I also made a spicy chipotle-yogurt dipping sauce (recipe below) for these and used some jarred salsa verde I had in the fridge as a second dipping sauce. Both went well with the flavor combination in these smoky-sweet, fall-inspired quesadillas.

 Finished autumn quesadillas on a platter.

Chicken, apple, caramelized onion, and cheese quesadillas
1 cooked chicken breast, cubed or shredded
3 slices bacon (I used applewood smoked that was also nitrate free), cooked and broken into pieces
1 apple, thinly sliced around the core
1 large red onion, thinly sliced and then slowly cooked and caramelized
1 tablespoon butter for cooking the onion
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
4 whole wheat flour tortillas
non-stick cooking spray 

Chipotle-yogurt dipping sauce
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2-3 chipotles in adobo sauce plus a tablespoon of the sauce
a handful of fresh cilantro
dash of salt

Begin by cooking the onion in the butter over low heat. Stir occasionally and add salt and pepper once the onions begin to caramelize (about 20 minutes). While the onions are cooking, add the dipping sauce ingredients to a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate the sauce until serving time.

When the onions are ready, warm up the flat side of a grill pan or a large skillet that you have sprayed with cooking spray. When hot, warm both sides of a tortilla and then add about 1/4 of each of the ingredients on half of the tortilla shell. 
I found that starting and ending with a cheese helps to hold everything together. Fold over the other half of the shell to cover the filling. Continue to cook, flipping once, until both sides are golden and crispy and the cheese has melted. 
Continue with all your tortillas. Slice in half and serve hot with the dipping sauce or your favorite salsa or sour cream.

Autumn quesadillas with salsa and dipping sauce.

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