Grilled Chicken and Red Onion Quesadillas

I make these grilled chicken quesadillas a lot for parties. If a big crowd is coming over to the house, I fill the tortillas with the chicken and fold them a few hours ahead of time and stack them on a tray. As people arrive, I grill the quesadillas for about five minutes to melt the cheese and toast the tortillas. If you want to get a head start, you can always grill off some of the quesadillas and slip them onto the warming rack, which is a convenient place to hold them. As guests arrive, serve the warmed sandwiches and finish grilling the rest for latecomers and anyone who wants seconds.–Jamie Purviance

LC By Bread And Cheese Alone Note

Man cannot live by bread alone, but if we’re talking by bread and cheese alone, and the bread and the cheese take the form of this quesadilla, we may be getting somewhere…

Grilled Chicken and Red Onion Quesadillas Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 5 H
  • Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • For the paste
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, stem removed
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the grilled chicken quesadillas
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 8 ounces each
  • 1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Four 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup salsa

Directions

  • Make the paste
  • 1. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic and jalapeno. Add the remaining paste ingredients and process until smooth. Coat the chicken breasts on all sides with the paste, cover, and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Make the grilled chicken quesadillas
  • 2. Lightly brush or spray the onion slices with oil. Grill the chicken and onions over direct medium heat until the chicken is opaque in the center and the onions are tender, turning both the chicken and the onions once, 8 to 12 minutes total.
  • 3. Remove the chicken and onions from the grill and let cool. Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/8-inch slices and the onions into 1/4-inch pieces.
  • 4. Evenly divide the chicken, onions, and cheese over half of each tortilla. Fold the empty half of each tortilla over the filling to create a half circle and press down firmly.
  • 5. Grill the chicken quesadillas over direct medium heat until the tortillas are well marked and the cheese has melted, turning once 4 to 6 minutes total. Let the quesadillas cool for a minute or two before cutting them into wedges. Serve the quesadillas warm with the salsa on the side.
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Brenda Carleton

Sep 03, 2005

We really need to make quesadillas at home more. These grilled chicken quesadillas in particular. The paste that the chicken marinates in is really amped up with great flavors. The author recommends marinating 3 to 4 hours, but I let it go for 6 because I find my personal preference is for a more pronounced flavor. There is a bit of vinegar in the paste, but it didn’t affect the chicken’s texture. We loved the paste on the chicken (we kept much of it on while grilling rather than scraping it off, and it did not burn). One of the things I enjoyed most was the slightly charred red onion. We opted for corn tortillas rather than flour and softened them by placing them between layers of paper towels for better foldability. It worked very well. We served them with a salsa I made from last year’s tomatoes. The end product was delicious and fun and something we hope to enjoy again very soon.

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