January 6, 2014

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
And it’s a new year.
I hope that your 2014 has started off with a BANG.
Mine has been very chilled and full of ski, delicious food, good reads and no alarm clock. AWESOME. [Today I’m back to reality, but I’ll just pretend it’s still last week for a minute.]
You may not know this, but I really LOVE to ski.
It brings out my crazy, just as much as triathlon does.
I love it notwithstanding getting to and from the slopes can be a real pain. 
When one considers digging out all of the clothes to stay warm, putting them on, hauling all of that awkward equipment around, paying $$$ for a ski pass. 
I still get the biggest rush when I fly down a slope, which negates all of that hassle.
The floating sensation of skiing through powder snow is one of the coolest feeling ever, if you haven’t try it yet I urge you to do it.
On top of that skiing is practiced in some of the most breathtaking places in the world. Few sports in the world have such beautiful environmental contexts (I mean, look at the shots I took for you guys the other day on the chair-lift, risking hypothermia...)

Sugarloaf

And then there’s the after-ski time. 
All that physical activity in the cold takes it out on you; and there’s nothing like taking a hot shower and sitting down to a hearty and delicious meal afterwards.
Food tastes sooo much better after a day on the slopes. It really does.
On the menu for the last few days? Beef chili, Thai peanut beef and Key West spicy quesadillas.
You’re going to hear all about the first two in due time, but for today we’re talking about the latter.

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

I made these quesadillas after the first day of skiing. I put the chicken to marinate before hitting the slopes and when I got home it took me about 15 minutes to whip those babies up.
The first one was gone in a heartbeat, and so was the second, and the third.
The fourth one? I hide it and keep it all for myself.
I was starving AND I was the one doing all of the cooking, I had the damn right to a whole quesadilla.
Anyway, these quesadillas were such a big hit, we made them a couple of other times.
It definitely looked like we have a started a tradition: The after-ski quesadillas.

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
What I really like about quesadillas is that they are a cinch to make. Two tortillas, cheese, and all your fave add ons.  
I made them with my “notorious” Key West spicy chicken (to date one of the most clicked recipes on the blog), added roasted red bell peppers, and parsley. That’s about it.
Trust me when I say that everybody will fall in love with these quesadillas; including people that normally are not into spicy food.

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
One final note. I used Tortilla Land’s Uncooked Tortillas in this recipe. And not just because they’re preservative-free, gluten-free and made just with water and corn masa flour.
IMO they’re among the better tasting tortillas on the market.
I also want to try making these quesadillas using Josh’s Slim Palate Cauliflower Tortillas, I bet they taste a 100 times better than anything you can buy in stores (and they’re definitely so much healthier!)

Key West Spicy Chicken Quesadillas                                                                   Print this recipe!

Ingredients 
Serves 8

Key West Spicy Chicken

3 tablespoons organic wheat-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 tablespoons raw organic honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 lbs / 900 gr free-range organic chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 jar 12 oz / 340 gr roasted red peppers in olive oil (I used Delallo), drained and chopped
2 ½ cups grated cheese (Monterey Jack is the best)
12 large tortillas (to make cauliflower tortillas use this recipe)
6 teaspoons butter
freshly chopped parsley (or cilantro)

Directions

In a blender, combine soy sauce, honey, olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, ginger, Sriracha and salt. Blend until completely smooth.
In a shallow sealable container or in a large Ziplock bag, combine chicken chunks and marinade.
Cover or seal and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (marinate overnight for fullest flavor). 
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken chunks, until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes, until juices run clear. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. 
Deglaze the skillet and sizzle ½ teaspoon of the butter over medium heat and lay a tortilla in the skillet. Then build the quesadillas by laying some grated cheese on the tortilla, and then arranging some of the chicken, roasted red peppers and parsley. Top with a little more grated cheese and top with a second tortilla.
When the tortilla is golden, carefully flip the quesadilla to the other side, adding another ½ teaspoon butter to the skillet at the same time. Continue cooking until the second side is golden.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings.
Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields about 457 calories, 18.7 grams of fat, 28.3 grams of carbs and 46 grams of protein.

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23 comments:

  1. These quesadillas look amaze-balls!!!!

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  2. I totally agree with you Mike, skiing is one of the most beautiful and exciting sports.
    Love these hearty, tasty chicken Quesadillas, just perfect after a long day of skiing!

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    1. About skiing...I've been told that Austria is arguably the best place to ski in the whole world. I've skied in Switzerland, France and Italy in Europe but never in Austria. I so want to go there!

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  3. Me loves me a good ol' quesadilla. Gonna have to try this very soon!

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    1. You really should Jennifer, they're delicious!

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  4. These look delicious! I could totally live on quesedillas!

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  5. Sriracha, ginger, lime and garlic, wow, yes please.

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    1. You can't go wrong with these ingredients!

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  6. These quesadillas sound like the perfect after ski meal!
    Mike, your photo are gorgeous - both of the slopes and of the quesadillas!

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    1. Awwwww thanks Shash, you're making me blush! ;-)

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  7. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
    I am still slowly trying to get back to routine after a fantastic couple of weeks. Yours sounds like a lot of fun. Skiing sounds great, haven't done that in a while.
    The quesadillas sounds yummm.

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    1. Happy new year Ash! Hoping you're adjusting to the routine in a positive way [I know it can be hard!]

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  8. This sounds so good! I made some quesadillas on Sunday night, and forgot how much I love cooking/eating them. Going to have to give this one a try!

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    1. Quesadillas are, hands down, one of the best thing ever!

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  9. You are a master quesadilla photographer! Man do these look good, unbelievable. Prettiest I've ever seen, for real. I could just stare at them for hours. Then I'd have to get up and pay a visit to my fridge...

    Oh, and about skiing? Stunning pictures! Glad I wasn't the one taking them. Snow and I just aren't really good friends. Plus, the only time I skied, I spent more time on my butt than I did on my two feet, so I'm not really tempted to give it another try. I'll stick with the after-[no]-ski, if it's all the same to you! ;)

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    1. Awwww Sonia, thank you so much.
      About the skiing, I think you should give it another try, second time's the charm, I promise!

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    2. Actually, now that you mention it... I remember giving it a second try. It was years later and I stood at the top of this tiny little hill, or bump, rather (I think it was meant for young kids to practice if I remember correctly) for hours! I just couldn't bring myself to just "GO". I think I eventually did, but I wasn't all that impressed. That was the end of my skiing days.

      Sorry, I don't think you'll ever sell me that one. I'd rather eat beef liver. Oh, wait. I happen to enjoy beef liver now. Ah snap. I'll think of something! ;)

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  10. I could live on quesadillas. I just had one for super tonight but now I'm wishing it was this one. Great recipe and photos!

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    1. That makes two of us who could live on quesadillas...

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  11. made these bad boys yesterday - aaaaamazing!!!

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  12. My husband & I made these for dinner last night & OH MY LORD were they amazing! We sipped jalapeno & cilantro margaritas while we ate them...highly recommend that ;) This marinade will be my go-to recipe for fajitas now, thanks for such a great meal!

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