I was coming home late after work and decided to stop by the food store to pick up dinner. We didn't have much in the fridge -- just some nice jack and cheddar cheese I'd picked up a few days earlier to make quesadillas, but we were out of tortillas. I figured I'd pick up some meat and garnish and we'd have some quick, simple meat quesadillas for dinner.
Ingredients (enough for two very large quesadillas):
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs (~1/2 lb, cut into small pieces and cleaned of fat and gristle)
- 3 medium tomatoes (diced)
- half a large, sweet yellow texas onion (diced)
- mild taco sauce (~6 oz)
- a large dash of: cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, crushed and dried basil leaves (to taste)
- salt (~4 tsp)
- 2 very large, stretchy tortillas
- jack and sharp cheddar cheese, grated (~1/4lb each)
- olive oil (~1 and 1/2 Tbsp)
- fresh garlic (1 clove)
- green salsa (~1/2 cup)
I first chopped the tomatoes and onion and set them aside in a bowl. Then I prepared the chicken by peeling the thighs open with my fingers, and cutting the meat out of the fat and gristle. It was a pretty messy meat, but after removing the excess it was tender and delicious. I cut the meat into small bite-sized chunks, to fit in the quesadillas.
I pan-fried the chicken lightly in olive oil in a large frying pan, starting on very high heat and then reducing to barely more than a simmer, after searing the meat to retain its juices and flavor. I then added the salt, and scrambled it in the pan with a spatula, making sure there was no pink left on the outside. I cooked it for about 5 minutes after the pink was gone. This made for a very tender, juicy meat, but without a hint of pink inside.
Finally, we decided to make a simple guacamole garnish. Michelle mashed one ripe avocado with a fork in a small bowl, and I added green salsa as an afterthought. It made for a delicious cooling addition to this great dish!
|The finished product! (Pardon the quality of the lighting -- I used a cellphone camera)|