Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Corn and Bean Quesadillas

I haven't been to the store this week, so I keep grabbing stuff that I have on hand for dinner.  

I wonder how long I can keep it up?

Cheesy Chicken Corn and Bean Quesadillas
Idea from here, but it's pretty different.

3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or 1 large breast)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup salsa (divided)
1/4 cup chicken broth (boxed/canned)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander

1 (15.5oz) can black (I used pinto) beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice (from a bottle is fine)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced

4 ounces monterey jack (or whatever Mexican cheese blend you have), shredded
Salt and pepper
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Get your chicken trimmed up a bit. Thighs tend to have a lot of weirdness on them, so trim to your level of satisfaction.

Get an oven proof pan and start the butter going. 

Once it starts to foam, add 2 tablespoons of the salsa. Any kind will do here.

Give it a stir and get a little sauce going.

Toss in the chicken (mine were still pretty frozen) and season with the spices.

Let it cook for 3-4 minutes and flip them over. 

Spoon the rest of the salsa over top and add the chicken broth to the pan. (you can use water too)

We're looking to provide enough liquid to prevent burning of the salsa sauce.

Put the pan into the oven for 15-20 minutes (or until you hit 165F internally). I always use a thermometer.


While the chicken is cooking, get your beans ready.

Drain a can of beans (either black or pinto) and add the spices. 

Mash the beans as much as you want. I went pretty finely mushed and think it probably would have been better if I did it a bit more coarsely. 

Probably should have stopped here
 I went this finely mashed:

Put the beans aside for the time being.


When the chicken is done, pull it from the oven (you can turn it off) and remove the chicken to rest.

 Let the chicken cool until you can handle it.

Slice it pretty thinly and set aside.

Add a splash of chicken broth to the pan and put it over medium heat. Get the sauce going again.

Add the onion and lime juice and spices.

Cook the onions until they soften, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic at the end give it a stir to combine.

Toss in the corn and stir to combine. 

Let it come up to temp, about 3-4 minutes.

Pour the onion/corn mixture into the beans. 

Stir to combine.

Add the chicken.

Stir to combine.

You can toss this in the fridge until it's cool enough to handle. 30 minutes, tops.


Get your cheese ready if you don't have shredded cheese (like I didn't).

I used 5 slices of monterey jack.

Just cut it thin enough to melt in the quesadillas. 

Add the cheese to the cooled filling.

Stir to combine.


Get a tortilla on your work surface and scoop in a "rounded" 1/2 cup of the filling.

Spread it out over half of the tortilla.

Fold over to finish.

Repeat for the rest of the tortillas. 

You can store these in the fridge until dinner.

Or you can freeze a few for later, no problem.


When you're ready to eat, fire up a skillet on med/high heat and add the quesadillas.

Watch the bottoms. You don't want them to burn, but you want the filling to heat through. These are kind of thick, and especially if you had them in the fridge, it'll take a few minutes to heat through. Just don't walk away for too long.

When you're finished, just cut them into 4 pieces and serve with salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, whatever.

I thought this meal turned out great. 

The addition of a few spices elevated the flavors well. The chicken thighs remained juicy and the beans were creamy and delicious. The corn and the crispy tortilla added a great texture as well.

Overall, this is a really easy dish that is quick to get together and quick to serve and doesn't cost much to make.



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